Operation Wide Open Spaces

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Operation Wide Open Spaces:

Step one: Wake up.

Step two: Realize some wide open spaces are missing in your life.

Step three: Pack your bags.

Step four: Enter “Montana” in the GPS.

Now some of you crazies might believe in a bit more *planning*. Me too. But last Monday morning, the open road called our name. We decided to throw our hands up and say “here!”

With tired and cramped souls coming off a whirlwind week of change, we had our bags packed and our car loaded within two hours of waking up.

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And of course the ever-insistent-don’t-you-dare-leave-me-home Abby was snuggled at my feet.

I love me some wide open spaces, but I’ve been living with some narrow margins.

With “Montana” entered in the GPS, my lungs breathed a little deeper with every mile we drew closer. With every new vista, my soul savored, as one taking a bite of a delectable meal that is at once brand new and yet familiar.

Now let’s be clear. I’m not generally a road trip kind of girl. I find them very inefficient, really. And I’m a girl who likes to have a destination. This is true both on the road and in life.

But I’m also a girl who’s learning to be inefficient. And learning to take detours and side roads. Who’s learning to get out and walk in the rain when traffic backs up at the entrance to Yellowstone. Who’s breathing deep of wide open spaces, both on the road and in life.

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This past week brought a new wide open space in front of me in the form of an unexpected job change (more on that later). And wide open spaces are wild.

They have dangerous things like bears and snakes and moose and bison.IMG_6969IMG_6946

And some of the greatest dangers are the ones you know are there but can’t see (ahem, Wolves).

But those wild spaces are also free, and beautiful, and seemingly endless. They speak to a crowded soul, whispering hints that big horizons are not only for mountains and rivers and prairies, but for us too.

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This girl needed a little bit of Wyoming and Montana to make it’s way into her crowded-California heart. My soul needed time. And space. For the talking and the not-talking, the hiking and the sitting, the searching and finding and the searching and not finding and the silence and the big sky and the trees and the rivers and the rocking chairs and the naps and the river floats and the dancing in the downpours.

This space – this glorious, wide, vast, diverse, and (seemingly) endless space, is reminding me, daring me, to think bigger, dream bigger, explore bigger. But also simpler.

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The thing about wide open spaces is that we all need them. Somewhere, somehow. And it’s a rare week that you get to throw your bag in the car and go find twenty million acres of open space. This week reminded me that I need to find/make/create/ALLOW wide open spaces to exist in my every day. Self-care and all. So trendy right now. So nearly cliché. So essential.

Space. In my day. On my calendar. To be inefficient. To be unplanned. It honestly scares me. Which is how I know I really need it.
What about you? When’s the last time you made space for … space? And how do you find it in the midst of your every-day?

2 thoughts on “Operation Wide Open Spaces

  1. Those photos are INCREDIBLE!!! So beautiful! All of it. Your words and the vistas. I love seeing the wild, vast North America I grew up wondering about. I’m so excited to see where the spaces lead you in the coming weeks. yaya for change!

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