I wanted to stay holed up behind my keyboard where I tend to default.
When asked what the purpose of life is, the Dalai Lama says, “The purpose of life is to be happy.” He just shines present moment. Peace. Smiles.
I reach for that. For his peaceful sense of fun and playful spirit.
My teenager wanted to hole up behind his electronics where he and his buddy had been since Friday following the school dance. Teens don’t care about foliage. Or waterfalls. Or the Dalai Lama.
I bribed them with more electronics later. You do what you have to.
Camelbacks full, the Mom police collected all electronics. Pure present moment today. (No, this did not go over without protest, but then I didn’t think it would. For a few minutes there, nobody was chanelling happy. But I held firm.) My dirty secret: I knew the forest would sneak up on them while they weren’t texting, wrap her roots around their feet, and hold. It was a battle I was willing to wage.
We headed off to Whiskeytown, stopping off to pick up my friend Jen and her family along the way. Mission: Whiskeytown Falls. I knew it would be pretty awesome when we got there.
Nope. Not pretty awesome. Stunning. Gorgeous. Enchanting. Magical.
As soon as we reached the trail, the boys were running down the path, climbing on ledges, scaling mountains, straddling streams– just for fun. They were in the moment. They were happy.
I was mesmerized. All this beauty. Just for us.
After the hike, I got the rave teenage review:
Me: How’d you like the hike?
Teen Son: Meh. I went because you made me.
Teen Son’s Friend: I liked the hike.
(He gets to come back.)
They played it down, but I could sense the forest had gotten under their skin. They were decompressed. More peaceful. Happy. Balanced.