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On letting go …

By Stacie Chadwick

Reading between the Pines

I’m a creature of habit – an early morning workout, avocado toast for breakfast, and then? Too much sugar late at night.

And, I’m more than a bit of a control freak. I like to craft my personal narrative, plug in the variables and chart my course on any given day. Predictability makes me feel grounded, and in a world of too many self-induced 3 a.m. wake-up calls, it helps me sleep.

Inevitably, and just when everything’s rolling along at my predetermined pace, something lands in my lap to disrupt my carefully curated world, causing an uninvited ripple in the glass-like, still surface of life’s lake. All of a sudden and seemingly out of nowhere, my peace of mind is replaced with uncertainty. Confidence is muddled by doubt, and life gets real in an unorchestrated way that’s unpredictable despite best laid plans.

Collectively as a nation, we rest in a mid-season of change that’s unparalleled. We’re stuck in a season of pinch hitting, reimagining life’s configuration, and existing in a new normal that’s anything but. The road ahead can sometimes seem endless, filled with twists and turns into unknown terrain.

And yet…as I sit alone outside in the early morning light writing this column while my family sleeps, I’m enveloped in a choir-like chatter of bird calls. Colorful wildflowers seem to pop by the minute in our backyard, hummingbirds zip back and forth in a rhythm of industrious flight, and my husband’s tomatoes – sweeter than anything you’ll ever find at the store – have slowly started their march of growth toward the sun.

As a community we’re collectively fortunate. We have the opportunity to spend every day in a gorgeous state that folks literally travel the world to see. Our collection of postcard perfect sunrises, towering pine trees, and inspirational purple mountain majesty resonates now more than ever.

Time literally stands still as I hit the pause button and immerse myself in the quiet beauty that surrounds me. I inhale. I exhale. I realize that despite the unknowns knocking at my door, I have the power to see life in any way that I choose. And in this moment? It’s pretty damn good.

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