About once a year I start to feel like my life is lacking something. No matter how perfect or messed up situations are, around October there is an emotional cavity inside of me waiting to be filled. For a while I didn’t know what it’s cause was and therefore I didn’t know how it could be repaired.
One year, when I was young, my family planned a vacation to Yellowstone, Montana. This was where I started to believe in the healing power of nature. After years we had made it a tradition to go up every fall. The drive was six hours from Provo to my uncles cabin near Hebgen Lake. I would dread the drive due to my habit of getting carsick. I’d take a Dramamine and pray that I’d sleep the whole way. And for the most part I did. It wasn’t until I started getting older that I stopped needing to take medicine and could fall asleep as I pleased to the soothing hum of the engine.
I remember the drive one year in particular. I was in the back seat with my older sister Michelle. We had our heads on a pillow on the middle seat, and our legs going up the sides of the car hugging our own window with our feet on the ceiling. It was an odd position but the most comfortable one we could find on our little seat. We had left Provo later than usual forcing the last two hours of our drive to be in darkness. There was a full moon shining through my window getting my undivided attention. The freeway became more and more surrounded by trees as we drove on. There were big pine trees with bare thunks. Pine needles were up toward the top and mostly out of my car window view. As we drove, trees kept growing in quantity and in my eyes they grew in height as well. I remember looking out into the night and seeing the moon directing these dancing tree trunks. Their silhouettes racing past our car so fast that my eye couldn’t focus on just one.
I was mesmerized. I couldn’t even think because I was so fascinated. This was what I had been missing. This beautiful scene in nature that I am positive had gone unnoticed many times before. I felt that little ounce of peace that helped me to feel whole again. If only I could always feel this way or bottle up this feeling so that it could always be around when I needed it.
Soon we arrived at the cabin. Everyone hurried to get settled in while dad started a fire and my mind wandered onto new tasks. Years have passed and we are still persistent in keeping the tradition of traveling to West Yellowstone. Every year I anticipate seeing my trees. It helps my life feel balanced throughout the next year. This is why I believe in the power of nature.
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