It's getting harder and harder to leave. "Home" has a magnetism to it like never before. I used to call the horizon home. I used to feel I could make it anywhere so long as there was a couch to crash on. Maybe that's still true, but my heart wants to be home most days. It's something about having a family of your own and the rush upon the return.
It's hard to justify leaving these girls. Sometimes I go to work and feel like I left half of my heart in Aria's crib.
I'm changing. The vulnerability is new. It's weird. But it's so beautiful. I have beauty in my life that demands my attention. Still, I can't help but wrestle the fear of domestication.
I'm changing, but I'm still untamed. And I think that's right where a man ought to be ...
Last weekend Timmy asked me to go up North with him to the Mogollon Rim. It was precisely what I needed. I'm a creative. I have to create to feel accomplished and I have to create to pay the bills. But sometimes you hit a wall and I was feeling so drained on inspiration and ideas. I had to recharge. Needed to unplug. I needed to mix things up.
I needed to turn off the noise. I needed a day or two without traffic. I wanted to hear coyotes and feel the rain. I wanted something wild.
That's what I love about Timmy and our wives. They understand we're wired pretty similar. He gets it and understands the importance of breathing some fresh air. And Dani and Britta encourage us to venture out whenever we need to. I think that's special. I don't know that most husbands have that kind of support.
They know we're untamed.
But it's easy to get it twisted in my head. It's easy to feel selfish and guilty removing myself from my family. It's easy to talk myself out of recharging. It's easy to look into Aria's eyes and melt right in place. It's easy to forget that she deserves the best me and that it's not always best to keep my head down and grind, though surely that's needed sometimes. It's the same for work. Sometimes to serve the thing right in front of your face it's best to lift your head up and look around. It can't always be axe to the grindstone.
I was packing all my stuff for the trip and remembered a book I'd read about a year ago. I knew I had to bring it. I knew it had something to remind me.
"Eve was created within the lush beauty of Eden's garden. But Adam, if you'll remember, was created outside The Garden, in the wilderness. In the record of our beginnings, the second chapter of Genesis makes it clear: Man was born in the Outback, from the untamed part of creation. Only afterward is he brought into Eden. And ever since then boys have never been at home indoors, and men have had an insatiable longing to explore. We long to return; it's when men come alive. As John Muir said, when a man comes to the mountains, he comes home. The core of a man's heart is undomesticated and that is good. 'I am not alive in an office,' as one Northface ad has it. 'I am not alive in a taxi cab. I am not alive on a sidewalk.' Amen to that. Their conclusion? 'Never Stop Exploring'."
So we explored. We made fires. We watched a full moon sail across the heavens. We dodged thunderstorms. We threw rocks, told stories, chopped wood and even flew a drone.
We're not all wired the same. Maybe camping's not your thing. The point of this story is exploration. The point is getting out of your comfort zone, wherever that might be. I'm always rambling about adventure and my cravings for the outdoors, but maybe I've struggled to communicate its value.
Your heart deserves some fresh air. Go find it. Grow better. Live bolder. Stay wild and know that there's still a place for the untamed.