Ahhhhhh …

I’ve mentioned this before, but right now it seems worth saying again: Everybody needs to get to the mountains once in a while just to leave all the noise behind.

You know. The bills, the future, the crick in your neck. Foreign affairs, domestic politics. This guy.

Traffic, the sad state of your lawn, that damn cold sore that’s coming up.

The stock market, the piston rings in your car, your son’s future.

Lack of sleep, thinning hair, that list of things that you keep putting off.

California redwoods, May 2015
California redwoods, May 2015

Grocery shopping, pills, picking up, vacuuming, caulking. Sitting in a damn chair staring at a computer for 10 hours a day. Deciding on dinner, watching too much TV, keeping track of what you’re supposed to keep track of, all the time. All the time.

Deadlines. Always deadlines.

I took the picture on the top of this post in May, in Northern California somewhere, near the start of our trip through Big Sur. It wasn’t a particularly memorable stop. We pulled off to look. An old VW van was next to us with a bunch of hippies living in it. Some Asian tourists swooped in, too. (I know. How cliché, eh?)

But when we turned our backs, everything quieted down. We could hear the wind through the grass. The morning was cool. The sky was clear and clean.

We posed for a few shots like this, and a laughing selfie or three. We were there maybe 10-15 minutes. Then we climbed into the car for our trip.

I look back on scenes like this sometimes and wonder how we all live in the roiling noise we do. In air-conditioned houses on little cul de sacs with dogs pooping on mowed lawns. With non-stop Internet connectivity, 1,000 channels on our big flat screens and more types of coffee than I think are really possible.

We live in packs, I guess, like we’re supposed to do. Packs that support us and keep us safe. But we long, every once in a while, for clean air and a place to run. A place to breathe. A place to simply appreciate that which we had no hand in.

I don’t know how we do it. I do know that getting away to the mountains every now and then makes it easier.

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