I wear many hats--because cold and bad hair days abound--and because I'm a wife and mother of two, ages 9 and 7. I'm a recovering corporate hamster-wheeler turned at-home mom, a recreational runner, sporadic freelancer, and a frequent recipe-butcherer.
Back when my husband and I were in our mid-30s and trying to decide what we wanted to be when we grew up, we hatched this idea of a life rich in experiences, of pushing ourselves to see beyond borders, of rejecting a provincial existence. So we said no to living happily ever after in an idyllic Maine town, and he recommitted to the military.
We thought perhaps we'd go to Europe, give our children cross-cultural experiences, dip our toes in all seven seas.
So far, we've been to Ohio.* So....yeah....I guess we've got Lake Erie?
But what I'm finding is that life can be astonishing and amazing (and incredibly mundane and exasperating) anywhere and all at once. It doesn't matter whether you live in a yurt or on a cul de sac, whether you're inches from the Atlantic or under the cloudy spell of the Great Lakes. The trick is to break out of auto pilot and pay attention. It's like one of my favorites, Mary Oliver, puts it:
"Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it"
That's why I write here. It helps me to pay attention, to be astonished. I may never stand at the edge of each of the seven seas and wonder at the world. No matter. I'm discovering that the soil under my feet is rich enough with reasons to marvel.
*We recently moved to Alaska, and it's every bit as amazing as I hoped it would be. But I stand by that thing I said about finding reasons to marvel no matter where you are. It's just a teensy bit easier to do now than it was in Ohio, what, with being surrounded by mountains and glaciers and having bears and moose for neighbors.