My wife and I went for a walk today around a beautiful mountain lake. It was a great day–the weather was warm, the sky and the water were brilliant shades of blue, we had a nice breeze, the smell of the pines was almost intoxicating–everything was perfect. The only thing that seemed out of place was the fact that we had never been on a walk at this beautiful place before, even though it’s only about fifteen minutes from where we live. We’ve lived here for almost ten months now, and even though we had been to the lake once before, we never had taken the time to get out of the car and spend some quality time there.
Whenever something like this happens, it gets me to wondering just how many other beautiful places are nearby. How many places are within a quick drive from where we live? There’s so much beauty in the world, and so much of it is so close to us already, yet we so rarely take the opportunity to go out and actually see it and enjoy it. Sometimes we don’t even make the effort to find it in the first place!
Now, my wife and I do explore–we’ve seen plenty of other beautiful places in our area. And we both work quite a lot, with relatively few days off together, so we don’t exactly have every waking moment to explore. But if we do want to get the most out of where we live, it’s important that we find out just what we have to take advantage of in our own back yard! I’ve never lived anywhere that didn’t have some beautiful places within walking distance, or at least a short drive or bus ride away. It’s so easy for us to accept what we know as the limits of our potential experiences, and when we do this, we close the door on the possibility of discovering new and beautiful places that can help us to get more out of the days that we pass on this planet. Today we watched a bald eagle soar and we felt a cool breeze while we gazed upon a beautiful lake, and our day was exceptional because of it. Then we stopped at a charming restaurant that overlooks the lake and had coffee and cake. All in all, it was a beautiful experience. And all this time, all this was just ten or fifteen minutes away.
It gets me to wondering what might be twenty or thirty minutes away in another direction.
Just what might be fifteen minutes away from you that may add significantly to your life? I’ll bet if you were to do some exploring, you just might find something quite special. . . .