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I Hear Nothing

Hope you’re well, warm and dry! What a weathery whirlwind we’ve had these last couple weeks. Yes, we need to talk weather. Three weeks ago, I hopped in the car with my husband, two dogs, a yoga mat, some fresh cooked food, a crazy amount of belongs and drove to Boulder. It was a blustery ride, literally Arctic with slush that smacked our windshield and below zero gusts at not-so-restful stops. Harrowing as it was, I missed the Chicago blizzards, and then there was Texas.

We rolled into our sweet rental house on a Sunday evening with the “Welcome to Boulder” Flat Iron postcard literally outside our front door. While some say the enormity of the mountains make them feel insignificant, for me my energy blooms just by taking them in. With the brilliant blue sky or puff clouds as their backdrop, the mountains are majestic and being in their presence and hiking around them is glorious.

Our hikes took us across snow-filled fields, into dark woods, up icy rocks, and down into quiet canyons. The crunch, crunch, crunch of my spikes cutting into the snowy trail is what I heard. I love that grounding sound – of walking on trails with crackling snow or rocky earth beneath my feet. It produced more than a Rocky Mountain high. It was pure medicine. Like my year-old quarantine energy was leaving my body as quickly as the weather shifted.

Yesterday, we explored a new area of the mountain. It’s all new, really, even when you repeat a trail. This one quickly took us in to a tiny canyon blanketed in snow on all three sides, making a cavern of soundless sound like an outdoor sound booth. The moment my ears sensed silence, I shushed my husband and dogs. I had to really hear nothing to hear everything. Finding silence can be exciting, like you don’t know whether to sit in it or spread your arms and spin around in it. I made one complete circle. Then, in the distance, I heard the rumblings of two friends catching up that got louder as they got closer, and then it was over.

We came to Boulder because we love it here and almost made the move six years ago. On this trip, we were seeking a change in scenery and to spread our wings. We got much more. I'll be packing tissues when we leave, even though I do look forward to coming home. I love my home. I love Lake Michigan and the stunning Chicago skyline. I also love the cliffs on the Pacific coast and the beaches on the blue Atlantic. I love the rolling green hills of Tuscany and lavender fields in Provence. I love the sacred Ganges river and the karsts in Ha Long Bay. I feel grateful to have taken in so much with my own two eyes and am ready to get back out there just as soon as we can.

I also know that true peace comes from within, not in a snowy canyon but from the quiet canyon inside. It’s the deep place where you are rooted, like a silent rocky sanctuary where you hear nothing and everything at the same time, no matter where you are.

I ironically joked when the weather got so bad that we were at rock bottom – the moment we feared last March, to be still stuck at home in the dead of winter. It was perfect timing, though, to feel that tight Arctic squeeze from Mother Nature and then the release into warmer weather, like a metaphor of this confining year that feels on the brink of opening up again. But perhaps, as we rode out that last winter blast huddled in tighter than ever, it was Mother Nature’s attempt to keep us rooted to that rocky sanctuary inside and our tethers intact before we head out to explore life's glorious trails again.

With heartfelt intention...



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