The days of commuting to work feels like centuries ago. Who would have thought I’d miss the excitement (cough *stress* cough) of leaving the house at exactly 7:52 in the morning to make it to the commuter rail at 7:58. That I'd miss parking and running up to the platform, trying to mask my loud breathing from exertion, mobile pass in tow, and settle into the red fabric seats with a sigh of relief, knowing I made it within minutes of departure. One thing that I miss most of all, is the “slowness” of that departure. The slow movement of the rail that passed through large open fields with cattle grazing and trees towering over small creeks. Those few uninterrupted minutes when it’s just me and a few other people in the rail car, sitting in the morning silence, taking in the world around us. I used to always prepare to work on that commute with the free WIFI, but I could never bring myself to open my laptop. I’d sit staring out the large window next to me, look at all the trees passing by and think “I just want to be there, I just want to be in the middle of that field”. I’m making this trip sound indulgent and I’m sure others might disagree, but those mornings, those slow minutes, opened up something inside of me.
It opened up the creative thoughts, the desire to wander, the almost melancholy feeling of being in the beauty of the world, but far enough away from it that I felt deep yearning. It was in those moments of travel, that I would just think. That I had time to think about my wants, desires, the good in the world, the bad in the world. Sometimes, those thoughts would bring me to tears that I’d quickly wipe away. Other times, I’d feel deep happiness and gratitude. But most of all, I felt hope. Hope for a future filled with so much beauty, filled with children's laughter, filled with exploration, filled with discovery, and filled with understanding.
It was in those moments that I’d pull out my phone to open my notes application and just write. I’d write whatever first came to mind. So, in honor of this being the first blog post, I’d like to share one of the first, of many, notes I’d taken during those commuter mornings. This one is dedicated to my future baby. I hope that you find as much beauty in the words as I do and that it resonates with the desires you have for your little ones.
For my future baby.
Explore. Explore the world. Explore for knowledge. Explore who you are. Your likes, dislikes, things that make you feel. Whether that’s happiness, anger, resentment, nervousness or excitement. Feel all of those feelings and choose which ones you’d want to experience again.
Explore the things you’d never think possible. An astronaut, a person living in Antarctica, a biologist or chemist, someone who eats at different restaurants for a living, someone that lives solely off the earth, a world that is peaceful, a child that is never hungry.
Explore things that interest you. Things that grab your attention and make you internally ask “why”. Things that divert your attention for 5, 10, or 15 minutes without ceasing. Then try to find the answer, or at the very least an understanding.
Explore the prospect of where you will go, what you will see, what you will do, who you may encounter.
Explore those small complexities of life, those chance encounters that you may think of and remember time and time again.
Explore the nuances of daily life. What it feels like to eat breakfast in the morning. What you choose to eat. What time you choose to wake up. How you start your day. The daily travel you may embark on.
Explore staying present. Present in the moment by tasking yourself to remember details of that glimmer in time. That presence of being.
Explore the unknown. Lives that may differ from your own. People that may cause you discomfort merely because you do not understand them. Places that seem strange merely because it is your first time experiencing them. Things that may hold no bearing or importance merely because you do not know the history.
Explore discomfort. Poverty stricken people, healthcare that does not reach far enough, food that doesn’t last, environments that are choking on pollution, people that have experienced severe trauma. Seek to know discomfort in the world so awareness can run through your veins. So that awareness can catapult you into action.
Explore the word “no”. What is the context, the meaning? Learn the response you will have, the action you may take. Expectantly pivot and overcome. React with grace and resiliency.
Explore glee. Happiness that does not fade or static. Animals that service people just by their presence. Flowers that illuminate a field. Trees that line pavement and drop leaves in unison. Mountains that hang over cities and towns. People that smile, not seeking anything in return. Beaches that wave in solidarity on an evening night. Cold that brushes against your cheeks in the most gratifying way. Loved ones that call simply because the thought of you arose. Feet hitting pavement, counting the miles.Remember, above all else, to explore. Whatever that may be, wherever that may be, and whomever that may be, you are encouraged to explore.