My generation is not one for stopping, in fact, the word “stop” is probably the most vulgar one out there, next to the “f” word, “failure.” These days, we have to tell our iPads and seasonal coffees to dream for us. We are too busy being connected to the world. As I type this, I am sitting on a porch miles from home overlooking hills, valleys, and mountains of trees with one of the most spectacular sunsets I have ever seen. Why, at the age of 24 has it take this long to have found such a scene that would make Nathaniel Hawkeye of Last of the Mohicans jealous?
Today was the fall day anyone could dream of. My family escaped to Blue Ridge, a quaint town in northern Georgia. Here, there are shops, cafes, and restaurants galore and Starbucks, while it does have a presence, it is respectfully hidden in an Ingles grocery store. This town is made for those who move to a slower pace, one that begs people to make memories. It offers enough comfort for Generation Z and the time of the life for the Baby Boomers and Generation Y.
Getaways are not always easy these days. Families are busy with mom, dad or the step-parents constantly vying for your attention or dragging you off with them somewhere you’d rather not be. And when they do have the time to pay for a family retreat, however you might define family, it is a cookie-cutter vacation. An all inclusive trip to the “happiest place on earth” or the modern lodge in the mountains.
I am blessed to have the family I have. We realize that we are of a rare breed. While we are not perfect and let our needs and wants sometimes hurt each other, we bask in the good moments. The sunsets of the past few nights have been one of those moments. My mother, one night, snugged up in her jacket pokes her head out and whispered, “I agree, I don’t ever want to leave.” Our family needed this. Too much has gotten in the way of our hearts, we are like a gutter, once or twice a year we need to be cleaned. This is our purification.
God gets the backburner a lot these days, but, with these sunsets, he has triumphantly made us recognize his presence. These are the weekends spent apologizing to him for your selfishness and the next second standing in awe at what he has created. The temperature is perfect. The leaves subtly blow in the wind, creating a melody that only those who have “escaped from the every day” can hear. Bats zig-zag in the night and the crickets begin their melodic finale as the winter draws near. Scents of wood-buring fires and dreams of cider and hot chocolate engage the senses. If you have ever felt this, you will know that you have finally been set free.
Life is for these weekends. It is for the disconnect and reconnection. It is for the small things. It is for examining your heart and moving on. I am grateful for the escapes and such a loving family that loves me. I don’t ever want to forget the sunsets, because God made them for me.