Sunday, March 28, 2010

Feeling A Bit Stir Crazy

With spring nearly upon us (OK, so it's "officially" here already), I am beginning to feel the draw of the outdoors rather strongly. It got to the point today that we took a drive up Provo Canyon, just to see where Mother Nature is at in coming out of her winter sleep at some of our favourite haunts. We discovered that it may feel like spring down here, but everything still looks rather dead up in the mountains. There is still a good bit of snow up there in many places (well, duh!) and it looks like it will be weeks still until the green will start poking through the brown. With the days lengthening, I want to get out and do some hiking after work. Maybe tomorrow we'll hit the shoreline trail. We'll see.

It is now a little less that four weeks before we will be heading out for our spring camping trip. As I mentioned last time, we had wanted to go to Arches, but when I tried to reserve a site in the campground, I discovered that they were totally booked. I have since discovered why. Apparently that weekend is the jeep rally in Moab, so it is a good thing we will not be down there. We decided to try for Arches in October and, instead, head down to Capitol Reef. We will also take a drive on Highway 12 before they try to ruin it by making it a lot wider, and spend some time in Bryce Canyon if the weather is good. Bryce is the only National Park in Utah that Merilee and I have not visited together, though we have both been there separately. It should be a fun trip. Goodness knows that I will be ready to spend some time away, and Capitol Reef may still be fairly quiet. I just need the time.

I was thinking about where I am at with this year's goals, and I find I am not as far off as I was afraid I would be. The flu set me back in the fitness endeavors, and I have never really gotten going with the creative writing, but my blog postings have been somewhat consistent and I have worked a bit on my photography, though I have not posted much. The most success has been in the things that, ultimately, are the most important. I have not missed a day in reading my scriptures and I have been paying my tithing. I have been trying to be a better friend, father, and husband, but I would have to leave it to my friends, kids, and wife to decide if I am doing better there. I would like to think I am improving. One thing I still struggle with is seeing the positive in things, as my last post clearly shows. I think I had such high hopes at the first of the year and we have had so many things go wrong so far this year that it has been a real struggle for me. I think four days out in nature is just what I need to help readjust my attitude.

I want to share something that I found last night in a rather unexpected source.
"Nothing is more important than that you see and love the beauty that is right in front of you, or else you will have no defense against the ugliness that will hem you in and come at you in so many ways." 
I call the source unexpected because it is from a book called Anathem by Neal Stephenson; a "science fiction" novel. I found it quite profound because we are all beset with ugliness every day, in one form or another. Too many people cannot see the beauty around them. How many people have noticed the daffodils and primroses that have started to bloom? How many people have taken the time to wonder at the beauty of life returning after a long winter sleep? I have known too many people who have become so wrapped up in the minutia of daily life that they cannot appreciate these things for the beauty they share with us.

Perhaps one of my favourite examples are those wondrous lands we have right here in Utah. Some people look at the desert lands of southern Utah and see only the potential for oil or gas or some other commodity. They fail to see the beauty that is right in front of them, and sometimes they end up ruining that beauty without a thought for those who cherish it, simply because they do not see it themselves. I have a hard time understanding how someone could spend any time among the marvels of Arches or Canyonlands or Zion or Bryce or Capitol Reef and not be overcome by the beauty that is there to behold. Now, I totally understand that what is beautiful to me may not be beautiful to someone else, but I am grateful that I have not become so jaded by my everyday life that I have lost that sense of wonder that helps me to see the beauty that is right in front of me. If I had lost that, I know that the ugliness that besets the world every day would soon become too much for me to take. Thus, my April escape to spend time amidst nature; a time for me to appreciate beauty and renew my soul.