June 26, 2009

I went to "church" on Saturday...

Last weekend, I went for a bike ride to 37-Mile Lake with Eric. I didn't have my camera, so if you want to see a few pictures, check out Eric's blog.

It was good to get out like that. It had been far too long. If I go too long without having a good, long hike or bike ride, I start to get cranky. All of the stresses of life build up, bit by bit, and I am a much poorer father and husband for it. Every once-in-a-while, I need to get out and rejuvenate my spirit.

The ride wasn't easy at first. It's not that it's a technically difficult ride, but it took a little while to get into the groove on the rolling uphill climb. It didn't help that my mangled big toe was throbbing from an unfortunate incident a few days before when I tripped on a ukulele and stubbed it on the hutch, pulling off skin and folding my toenail lengthwise along my toe.

Up and up and down and up we went, following the valley up towards the end of the lake.

When we got as far as we could ride, we left our bikes behind and walked over the giant grassy hummocks to the shore of the tranquil lake. Small fish were hopping out of the water, catching bugs. Eric stopped, but I continued on, limping as I went, driven to see more of the lake than we could see from the end.

Needing to give my foot a break, I found a nice solid mound of grass and sat down. Then, I listened.

For someone who's used to the city, they would say that a place like 37-Mile Lake, away from combustion engines and the noises of people, is quiet. It certainly isn't. The buzzing of the mosquitoes, the chirping of birds, the jumping of fish, the rushing of far of streams, and the fluttering of trembling aspens are anything but quiet. The difference is that, in a city, all of the noises of traffic and building ventilation and construction and electricity combine to create a throbbing and squealing din. If you've lived in it long enough, you likely don't notice it - but it's there. When you're in a place like 37-Mile Lake, away from all the manmade noisemakers, the sounds of the bugs and birds and fish and rushing streams and fluttering leaves all combine to form a giant calming "hussssssssssssssh" - like a mother gently soothing an already sleeping child.

As I listened to the hush of the planet, I could feel myself relax. All of the concerns and frustrations and things that I had been holding onto but didn't really matter drained away. It felt good. I closed my eyes and, for no reason other than a feeling of complete contentment, I smiled.

When was the last time I did that?

Everyone has their own place to find peace and contentment, whether they go there or not. Some go to church. Others find it in their garden, or painting, or rebuilding a vehicle, or reading a book. I find it out there, in the wild places. That's where I rejuvenate my spirit. That is where I cleanse my soul.

That is my church.


Anonymous said...

Hi Michael,

Great blog! My partner and I have been considering moving to the Yukon when he has completed his degree, so I decided to check out some blogs on the Yukon and see what life was like up there, what the people are like, and if I thought I would be strong enough to handle it.

I was wondering if you could let me know about some of the challenges of living in the Yukon as opposed to a bigger city with a much more mild climate, and maybe what drew you and your family to the Yukon and what keeps you there.

My partner is doing his degree in Forest Sciences and I can't seem to find much information on the forestry industry or research in the Yukon. I know there are opportunities with the government but positions seem few and far between. My fear is that he will not be able to find a job that he truly enjoys in the Yukon. Do you know much about this industry?

I think we are ready for a change, I don't like the big citys. I don't really want a one hour drive to work because housing is so expensive and I can't afford a home any closer, and I enjoy nature, being outside.

Thanks for any information you can provide! I really appreciate it!


Meandering Michael said...

Hi Melissa,

You can e-mail me at: therearesuperheroes(INSERTthatsSQUIGGLYthingHERE)gmail(INSERTaLITTLEdoTHERE)com and we'll figure out a better way to chat (skype, MSN messenger, etc.)

I should be able to answer most of those questions and can refer you to others if you want even more detailed answers.