Monday, February 27, 2012

Don't just dream big ...Dream Elephant BIG!

"Sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment, until it becomes a Memory"

Yesterday I had the rare weekend gift of going on a five mile hike with my loves (furry and non).  As I am shorter, and only have two legs, I usually trail behind (even though it takes two of my little steps to catch up for every one of Jay's 6 foot tall steps).  As I walked, my mind drifted in and out of consciousness of the present moment, it was then I was struck by the light.  Rays of  sun light that is, illuminating over downtown Albany perfectly centered over the small mountain we had hiked atop of.  It was there where I saw the most majestic of suns setting over the city below.

It is not hard to see why the ancients thought that God(s) lived within the sun.  Throughout history, literature, religion, art, philosophy, the sun has shown bright. Sparkling, bright, and vivid was the giant tangerine orange ball of fire descending from the heavens .  They say you should not look directly into the sun, but I could not look away, it was stunning.  Something so simple, you see it every day, and yet perhaps the commonality of observance takes for granted the sheer beauty of it.  Each morning sunrise, and sun set is so spectacularly different from the next.  I lingered in the moment, as Jay realized I had fell behind and returned to see what gave me pause.  There together hand in hand we watched in breathtaking awe as the fire in the sky slowly disappeared in the horizon with a flash leaving behind only a fleeting rainbow of colors before dusk.

Costa Rica
I treasured that moment, and reflected on the walk back, now hurriedly through the woods before dark. I reflected on all of the brilliant sun rises and sun sets I have seen in my life, and those magical ones I have yet seen only in my dreams. Some of the more exotic memories I have from my travels feel like more of a dream.  A brief moment of reality that I will treasure forever more. Emerging from the jungle, galloping on horseback, to the beach of Samara, Costa Rica and stopping to see the sun set over the beautiful ocean. Seeing the sun set in a vision which I can only describe as surreal over the plains of the Safari in South Africa as we stopped to see Elephants, Zebras, and Giraffes in the blissful silence of their natural environment. Jay and I were lucky to see a glorious sunset almost every night that we were in Scandinavia (except for Iceland where the sun never sat =)).  On a ferry ride in Finland (we could see Russia from our hou...I mean Ferry ;)). Spontaneously renting bikes and meandering through Stockholm over the beautiful islands as the sunlight glistens off the water below. Strolling down the longest street in the world, Strogat in Denmark.

Cape Town, South Africa
 All of my blogs have been dedicated to the things in life that instill the most passion in me:  travel, technology, fitness and health .  No matter what I do, or where I go, I have fun doing it.  To me every moment is an experience, a memory which one day I will cherish forever- from exotic hikes down Table Mountain to the coast in South Africa, to strolls exploring the local gems around our home this past weekend.  Sometimes you have a mission and purpose, and sometimes you are just exploring-  local neighborhoods, hidden treasures, or foreign wanders.  For example,  ever since I was a little girl I dreamed of being in the circus so I can be one of the beautiful costumed women who rides the elephants.  This dream had a chance of becoming a reality when we were in Thailand.  Not speaking a lick of the language and using charades, planes, trains and automobiles, we set out to try and and find the local elephant park and ride one before the park closes!  We drove two hours and finally found it, unfortunately it had closed.  Things don't always go the way you want it to... but life is about goals, and striving to be your best, do your best and sometimes, not taking no for an answer!  If you believe it, you can achieve it.  Part of that is just believing in the unbelievable.  Anything is possible- you just need to dream BIG!

That's ME on top of  Marco the Elephant!

For some reason the whole time I was on the elephant in pure ecstasy (and disbelief) I had not one thought go through my mind.  I just paused and relished in the moment which was my child-hood dream coming to reality.  My heart beating a mile a minute, and a smile ear to ear as Mario (the Thai elephant) and I became forever friends.  On the drive home a million thoughts and feelings went through my mind, and the one poem which came to my thoughts, was "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost, a classic, and one of my personal favorites.  I will share it with you as a reminder, or as a life changing moment for those of you who have not yet had the opportunity to read it.  Please take a moment to read it,  pause, and let it sink in.We all have choices in life, paths to take, roads to follow.  Which path will you choose? 

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;        

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,        

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.        

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

So these are my key take-a-ways from today's blog:  Remember to keep it moving- walking, hiking, biking, kayaking, elephant riding  (that is some major core work, believe it or not) :).  Dream BIG (Elephant BIG!), anything is possible.  Wander off the path less traveled by, as Robert Frost would advise, that will make all the difference.  Don't be afraid to take a chance, and try new things, and re-do familiar favorites and fall in love with them all over again. Always have fun, life is to short not too.  But remember, while you are out there moving and shaking,  to pause, take a deep breath, and enjoy the simple moments in life;  The sunsets with the one you love, the moments that matter most, the experiences that will last a lifetime!

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