As a woman who lives in a small, rural town, who drives regularly past corn fields and cows, I had assumed that I lived close to nature. I take my kids outside to play when I can, and I occasionally pull weeds out of my overgrown flower beds.
But this last week, I was away at a cottage, and I realized how much I'd missed the countryside.
There is something so peaceful about a lake and a wide, spread-out vista of natural beauty. I was without my beloved internet connection; I left my responsibilities and telephone calls behind. I read books. I watched my kids catch frogs. I sat on a beautiful porch and watched the rain fall all around me and make tiny patterns in the lake's surface.
I breathed more deeply than I have in a long time. A deep sense of peace filled my heart.
What's the point of sharing this story? I'm not sure, exactly. I guess I've been thinking about the reason for this blog: I want to encourage each of us, including myself, to think differently. To make our lives better. To start with small things that we can change ourselves, to take responsibility for the state of our world, of our lives. To struggle and wonder towards self improvement. To instill curiosity, even indignation. To provoke change.
I realize that's a tall order to fill.
But there's also this: small things, like spending a couple days reading beside a lake, can make a big difference. They can change our hearts.
So go jump in a lake.