We backpacked the weekend away in the gorgeous back country of San Diego. It fully delights me that you can drive 45 minutes east of the city and wind up in the mountains - real mountains, with pine trees and peaks and altitude and the whole bit.
Assuming the hike in would take half a day, we started around 8 am - an overestimation that got us to the campsite well before lunch. But those extra hours were some of the weekend's best. What I love about camping is how expansive time becomes. An entire day centers around survival (pitch a tent, build a fire, cook a meal, find a secluded spot in the woods to pee) and the spaces in between are reserved for simple leisure. I read for most of Saturday afternoon, something I hadn't done for months or years. Long-form reading doesn't seem to have a place in life's busyness; a quick blog post or thumbing through Instagram fits our harried schedules better. But I miss the restorative and simple enjoyment of settling into a story.
I read an article last week on the need for soul healing. Hurriedness, the author suggests, disconnects us from God and each other. He calls it a symptom of a fragmented soul. Being hurried, he wrote, is entirely different from being busy. One is an inward form of striving - the antonym to submission - while the other is simply a description of external circumstances.
This distinction struck me as exactly right. Jam-packed days can feel restful and fulfilling, even as I'm climbing into bed at the end. And conversely, I'm often internally disconnected and rushed on a slow Sunday. Hurry is combatted by soul rest, soul healing. Which is exactly what reading on a Saturday afternoon in the sun was.
So here's what I'm thankful for about our time in the mountains. Rest. Reading deeply. Boy Scout Troop 2000 who saved our sorry selves when our water sanitizer didn't work. Yep - rescue comes in surprising forms. And also: wide skies, grass naps, picnic lunches, and morning hikes that welcomed new scenery with every turn. California's foothills just get me: green chaparral and yucca, shivering gold gold grass, pines in the distance, spring flowers spilling onto the trail. Here's to more soul rest and more reading, mountains or not.