As I sit this evening taking an Amtrak train line from downstate Illinois to Chicago I am also catching glimpses of one of the most beautiful sunsets spanning over central Illinois farmland. I only wish I had sat on the other side and could capture the right photograph to share!
The last two days have been filled with down pours and thunderstorms creating delicate, impeding moments on the bulk of my personal travel plans. Yet, now, the light behind the clouds is revealed. It has presented a bit of a re-centering moment and reminded me to take subtle moments of reflection.
Sunday nights, at least bi-weekly, is reserved for my blog activity. Although each Sunday I work on it may not equal a publish, as blogging is a compilation of research, experiences, photography, and, of course, writing, the time is strategically carved out on my weekly rituals. The time allows me to wind down before another work week begins.
Blogging, in general, provides me the opportunity to provide information, stories, and perspectives, but also allows me to process, reflect, engage, and refine my communication skills. Tonight, I also feel fortunate to be graced with a spectacular view.
My daily life consists of hustle and bustle of city life. Admittedly, there is a part of me that thrives on it. I love catching transit to buzz up-down, back-forth through the city while making observations of people and surroundings along the way. At times, I forget that I was once a country girl.
I walked through pastures and picked raw asparagus to nibble on. In school, I made flower head dresses and bracelets from dandelions and clover. As I got older, I knew state park trail systems across Southern Illinois and Central Indiana as if I was some sort of junior ranger. All the while, being associated as “from a farming family” and quite familiar with orchards and fields. I had many opportunity to take in wide open spaces.
It is subtle reminders, such as tonight’s sunset, that remind me to not just consider all the adventures I have taken since leaving “the country life”, but to pair those experiences with my roots, my foundation, my grounded principles…
Somehow this upbringing as always allowed me to find small comical simple moments, despite the favor-ability (or lack there for) of specific circumstances. It has kept me steadfast, determined, and hard-working, yet smiling and focused on maintaining healthy, positive, and productive work-life balance. Finally, it has taught me that sometimes life is messy, unplanned, and informal yet there is always beauty within.
In a nutshell, finding those opportunities to absorb the feel, look, and sensation of nature’s wide open spaces is in part therapeutic. I invite you to take the time to find these opportunities. Pay attention to daily rituals, yet also take opportunities to step out of them from time to time. Just like tonight’s unexpectedly beautiful sunset, you never know what you might see…