never have i ever...

by - 18:10

...had a mini-break like this before.

Last weekend, we boarded a ferry that took us to Cumberland Island, a deserted island that was once home to the Carnegie's. We set up camp with our very limited supplies in tow and decided this would be the weekend where we wouldn't be in our heads and instead, let our guts do all the steering. In short, we were (pretty much) even more off the grid.

We encountered wild horses, beach deer, falcons, raccoons, armadillos, and everything else in between. We hiked trails, saw some beautiful ruins, rode bicycles, and had an impromptu picnic in the middle of a dirt road out in a completely desolate and open field. We walked under trees that had branches and trunks that looked like they were reaching for one another, the Spanish moss dangling and swaying with the wind. A firefly or two made their appearance, not to be outshone by the millions of stars that were glimmering above. I think it's easy to forget how big the sky actually is until you're right there, staring it in the face in awe and have nothing but sighs and gasps to describe the way you're feeling. It's an amazing sense of wonderment that takes over and you can't help but feel so small and lucky to be able to see it all.

We drank copious amounts of wine, ate my guy's highly-revered chili, and roasted marshmallows for s'mores by candlelight. We made the tent our home and the rustling of the bushes in the middle of the night sounded like our quiet critter neighbors having a good time.

Being out there made me wonder something. As humans in today's world, we are so accustomed to the life that we have, particularly, a first-world life. We spend money, invest, in camping gear to mimic the barebones or bare necessities to survive and we willingly put ourselves out in nature to "rough it". For what? I don't think I really knew what I'd get out of it until I was there. From my experience, here's what I have to say: it was awesome. Being out there made me appreciate everything I have. And surprisingly, made me appreciate everything I don't have. I realized that there is so little that I actually need to live happily. But when I actually do have those things, I feel very fortunate. Perhaps introspection is the goal when out in nature with the elements. Maybe it's the reality check everyone needs. Thoreau had the right idea.

We came back with a renewed love of the life that we have. I came back and had to mentally take snapshot of what was in front of me. Life as I know it, in this moment, right here, right now, is nothing short of perfection. All of the good, the bad, the challenges, the ease, the light, the heavy, the funny, the sad--all of that make up this life I am living.  I've discovered treasure and feel graced to have someone to hunt it alongside me, too.

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