The nearest exit…

I was picking beans in our garden the other night, and couldn’t figure out what the smell was. Then it dawned on me, “pickles!” Wait, why did I smell pickles in the garden. (I was alone, so I was just asking this in my head.) I heard a bird, turned around, and realized there was a whole row of dill right behind me. Duh, dill. That is why I smelled pickles!

It made me think of the airplane speech they give when you board the plane. As you are shoving your bag under the seat in front of you, adjusting the air or closing the window shade, someone is telling you the safety features. “Keep in mind, the nearest exit may be behind you.” Often when we are faced with a dilemma, we are searching for an answer, an exit or a ‘way out.’ We might be overwhelmed with the possibilities, not even realizing it could be behind us. I’m not suggesting to focus on the past…Although I fall into that trap quite often on my own. Perhaps the answer is in a spot we aren’t seeing right in front of us. Maybe the answer comes from someone else’s past – a road they have already traveled. Perhaps the answer is to the side, but due to the blinders, we don’t see it. We aren’t meant to wear blinders like a horse, but sometimes our tunnel vision can block what we need to see.

Just stop for a minute and breathe. Smell the dill. See the path. Being in nature has been more important than ever for me. The last several months have reminded me to slow down, connect with the earth and be grateful for the simple things. When my mind gets spinning in a hundred directions, I go outside. Outside, I see my chickens, who bring me so much joy. Outside, I pick the vegetables and fruits from the garden, thanking the earth and God for the harvest right in my back yard. Outside, sit in my son’s hammock and listen to the aspen leaves clap, the birds sing their songs, and even the mosquitoes buzzing by my head. I know that connecting in nature is not something that works for everyone. Even going for a walk around the block might help clear your head or spark an idea.

I wish you peace on your journey of enough. May you find the “newest exit,” the answer you are looking for, the connection in nature to bring you closer to God, the peace your heart and soul long for. It’s kind of a “big dill.”

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