Aside from getting us out of town for a day, my family's recent daytrip also taught me a couple heart lessons.
Taking a day off from projects at home this past weekend, we hit the interstate and drove a few hours to Lake Superior’s North Shore.
Whether or not the northern air is really fresher, breathing in its cool pine-and-dirt scent certainly felt refreshing. Tramping along the trail in my sturdy hiking boots, I felt like I could go anywhere.
And yet …
Here we were, not anywhere but in a familiar place: on a trail we had hiked before that led to a familiar Lake Superior overlook. Itchy wanderlust replaced my initial fresh-and-free feelings.
Snapping a few scenic photos helped me recenter my awareness. Pushing my restlessness aside, I focused on my daughters’ perspectives: I savored 9-year-old Allison's appreciation of a colorful rock; I captured an image of 12-year-old Lauren leaning against the overlook shelter.
It wasn't until later that I internalized the day's first lesson:
Awareness (mindfulness) can offer a richer experience.
When we finished hiking and gazing at Minnesota's impressively large lake, we enjoyed a bite to eat at North Shore landmark Betty's Pies. Over burgers and the best BLT I have ever eaten (Betty's homemade rye bread made the sandwich), we talked about planning a short summer excursion that would allow us to explore some places we've never been before. This enabled me to acknowledge my own wanderlust and redirect my latent restlessness toward the future, because according to my heart:
Sometimes growth comes from a change of scenery and stimulus.
At the end of the day, we all had a great getaway. Both the girls agreed that the quick trip to the North Shore was worth the long car ride. And on the way home, I reconciled my restlessness, jotting down the day's heart lessons. It is possible, I granted, to visit a familiar place using a fresh perspective. And, now and then, stretching and exploring and breaking out of routines is what a heart needs.