Quality vs. Quantity and Being Present

I am home from a whirlwind trip, one in which I tried to fit a month's worth of sights into a few days. When I have time off, it seems that I try to always do way too much. In the past, I could get away with it a little better. Now that I'm a bit older, I'm finding that no, camping in your car is really not the best idea. Instead of sleeping, it was a bit like being tortured for eight hours. So do not try this at home. 

Of course, I brought my Backpacker along, in case I had an inspiration. I did come up with a few great ideas. But I sang the tunes hastily into my recording program on my phone to figure out later, for I had miles and miles to go. I don't know why I didn't take a moment to sit under a tree for five minutes, relax, and play. Instead, I had a near-manic drive to see it all. 

And though I returned home with plenty of pictures for my efforts, somehow, I feel I missed the point. I didn't really connect to any of these moments, other than being blown away by this or that stunning view. My mind wasn't really there most of the time, as it was already jumping forward to the next experience down the road. 

Today, I didn't feel like going anywhere other than places right around here. I enjoyed sitting in the sun with my feet in a cool river, listening to the wind through the trees. I watched a Pileated woodpecker hammer away for its meal. I sat and absorbed the goings-on in a beautiful field, filled with swirls of dragonflies and butterflies. I realized that in some ways, this was the best day of my entire vacation -- and I didn't go anywhere. 

For I was really there. 

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