Spontaneity, not variety, is the spice of my life. I love the fact that I can so something only because I can or want to. If I can think of an idea and it's strong enough, I will make it happen. In this case, about 45 minutes after I thought of the initial idea, I was in the middle of executing it. And I couldn't be more glad that I did.
About an hour and a half before sunset, just as I was leaving work - spending all day with children under the age of three is certainly work - I decided I would stop on the way home, put on some running shoes and grab the camera and head for a mountain. Google helped me out with what time the sun would set (had I had to locate for the family almanac, learn how to use it, and then set out, I would have missed last night's sunset, as well as today's) I set off for a bit of a hike with a camera.
I would by no means consider myself a hiker, I'm not sure that I regularly enjoy it. However, the past few weeks I've found myself getting out of bed earlier and earlier, even on days I don't have to be anywhere, and head to this exact mountain. I can't even use the excuse that it was nice weather and being outdoors would be enjoyable, because the weather wasn't nice, and it wasn't very enjoyable until getting a bit away from the houses which flank the trail and up the side of the mountain that it became somewhat cooler when a rouge breeze came through.
It may take a few minutes, but once I'm up farther on the mountain I love it.
I love the fact that you can occasionally run into people, but the only connection between you and them is that you're both up on a mountain, both usually alone, and a simple greeting will suffice.
I love the fact that I can be alone, get out of my own head for a bit, and run into little friends. Like this bunny, who wouldn't let me get too close, but sat patiently while I snapped away. He too was alone, and despite the terror that I may have caused him trying to approach him, he seemed to be enjoying life.
The sun set behind the mountain, and the clouds lit up. I forgave them for the awful humidity during the day - which I blamed directly on them - which made the day somewhat miserably outside, but made the evening quite lovely.
Even the moon was cooperating last night, showing off.
I'd never been hiking on this trail in the evening, only a few times in the morning, and only saw two other people, both on bikes. I saw one right when I was starting, one right when I was leaving.
I didn't check my phone, I didn't bring headphones to listen to music like I normally do, I didn't think about any specific. I focused on the light, the rocks, the cacti, and not getting attacked by any snakes who may have also been venturing in the nice evening cool down. After spending the entire day bombarded with noise, colors, and movement it was a welcome hour to spend with the only sound being the chirps of quails, the rustle of bushes, and the sound of my own feet in the dirt.
I hear a lot about the advantages of meditation, and have never seriously put it into my schedule or tried. This week, this is the closest I've come. Maybe it's because I was alone. Maybe it was because I had my camera around my neck. Maybe I have a subconscious love for hiking and it was because I was in the desert and in hiking attire.
I may find myself doing this more and more often, as storms bring cooler nights and I begin to appreciate more and more the benefits of being alone with myself once in a while.