Last Wednesday I wrote a post in PNW Wandering about pursuing the opportunities that make me feel alive.
Last weekend I took an outdoor Open Floor dance workshop, where our teacher spoke about opening ourselves up to life and connecting with our world. So I did just that. I took everything I had been working on personally and my teachers wise words, and what did I do? I stripped down to absolutely nothing and skipped through the Nooksack river.
I was shocked by the ice cold bite of the river, and the sun's heat on my bare skin, but mostly I was shocked by my ability to grab a moment that made me feel so alive. As I stood in the river with cold water dripping down my back I felt awakened. I was in awe of the world’s beauty and of my independence. With this, I thought of the first time I had ever consciously felt this way. Standing atop the Cliffs of Moher.
As you may recall, the beginning of my international wandering was filled with cityscapes, hospital waiting rooms, eye infections and UTIs. So, when I hopped aboard a bus from Dublin to Galaway (still accompanied by my UTI and eye infection) I was ready to focus on feeling healthier. To do this, I knew I needed to get out of the city and into nature. I needed to feel the magic. I needed to feel alive.
When I arrived in Galaway I bought a ticket for a Cliffs of Moher tour and hunkered down for the night. Come morning, I found myself nervous about getting on a bus that would trek 4 hours to the Cliffs of Moher. Needless to say, the trip was filled with anti-nausea wrist bands, a million trips to the bus bathroom to pee, and sunglasses to cover my goopy eyes. But nothing was stopping me. I was opening myself up to life and grabbing my opportunity.
When we arrived at the Cliffs I found myself excited, but willing to wait my turn patiently. Step by step I inched closer to mother nature. And as I stepped off the bus she whipped me hello right in the face with a huge gust of wind. With that, she took my breath away.
It was not until I walked to the actual cliffs that she caused me to audibly gasp. My eyes welled with tears. The power that nature has to create, destroy, and rebuild is unlike any power I have ever known. Standing atop the Cliffs of Moher, staring out at the sea, surrounded by absolute unmeasurable beauty, I really got it.
Perhaps for the first time in my life I understood, moments like this: enveloped in nature, moved to tears, these were my moments. These are the moments that bring me to life, that heal my body and soul. This is where I am meant to be, how I am meant to live. This right here, this is it!
So, for the rest of my trip I tried to chase those moments. Sometimes, I forgot; found myself distracted by new friends, a sweet man, or bustling cities. But when I remembered, rerouted myself to nature, to tiny towns on hillsides, to abandoned trails and sunsets on cliff sides, those moments brought me back to myself, back to that spark deep inside that said “you’re alive!”
It’s easy to get distracted, to choose straighter paths, paved by tourists everyday (or business women here at home). But when I grab moments like I did in the river this weekend, I am brought back to all the other moments I have ever felt truly alive, and damn, those are the moments worth chasing!
So do yourself a favor and think about the moments that make you feel like a warrior queen standing atop the Cliffs of Moher, empowered and enlivened by the beauty around you.
Whatever those moments may be, follow the magic within them!