I’ve never been one with nature. In fact, the whole idea of interacting with nature has often scared me to into a wild fit of screaming and dancing about like a crazy lady (it all started in third grade with an unexpected visit from a snake . . . eww. And remind me to tell you about the gecko in Petite St Vincent. I still get shivers up my spine!). Don’t get me wrong, I love and honor this great planet and respect all living creatures. They each make this world beautiful and I love observing it . . . from a comfortable distance.
But every year, my parents, my brother’s family and my family (#TeamNewburg) road trip to northern Minnesota for a week of family time and inevitably becoming one with nature. This week I’m ‘up north’ with my family and we’re having a blast playing card games, swimming (in the chlorinated pool), taking long walks, snuggling up for movies and ‘unplugging’, as they say. It’s been an annual trip we’ve taken for the past 8 years. My boys just love spending time with their grandparents and cousins. My husband gets more golf in this week than he does all year. My sister-in-law and I eat all the carbs we want. My dad gets up extra early to take his grandsons fishing and teaches them how to cast and reel. It really is a special week of family time that I treasure.
It is also a time that brings me insanely and uncomfortably close with the beauty of our great state. In just a few short days, we’ve seen the following:
- Snakes basking in the sun on the walking bridge
- Turtles taking a break on lily pads
- A frog on our grill, just in time for happy hour
- A wolf quietly observing from hole #5
- A bear, in the ditch watching the cars go by
- Eagles circling the pine trees, looking for lunch
- A deer surprising us in the gravel parking lot
- And more bees, mosquitos, birds, squirrels and chipmunks than we can count!!
It’s incredible how beautiful a family vacation can be. Not only for the uninterrupted time together, but also the reminder that even our greatest fears (whether reasonable or not!) can still provide the most amazing beauty. I sit here in awe of what our great state of Minnesota has to offer and am thankful it provides a place for my family and I to enjoy the simplicity of life. Lets be clear, I’ll still keep a healthy distance and there will definitely be many more unreasonable episodes of terror. But, for this one week, I will become one with nature and simply enjoy the great outdoors.
I’d love to know how you and your family get away. We’re always looking for ideas for our family.
What do you love most about your state?
What’s your take on the great outdoors? Observe from a distance or become one with it?!?