Monday, August 17, 2020

Love Letter to My Life #26: Wonder Dates with Life

Life overlooking the lake.
by Joyce Wycoff

(We know the day we were born, but most of us do not know the day we will die. This love letter to my life is written on the day I've designated as my death day, the 17th of every month, and reminds me to be grateful for my incredible life.)

 An interesting month. Days after my last letter, I drove up to Lake Almanor in Northern California. I had liked it many years ago and was feeling a particular need for water. As soon as I saw the beautiful, tree-lined lake, I knew I wanted to spend more time there, so I went home, got my camping gear and returned for a few days of camping and exploring. 

During that time, I found a seasonal trailer for sale in a quirky RV park on the lake and a few days later, I was moving in for the rest of the summer. 

I’ve never spent much time in Northern California so this is a perfect home base for exploring. This week I drove through Lassen National Park for the first time and made a “wonder date” with myself to return during the week when there will be fewer people. 
Arrow points to Lake Almanor
Looking for pitcher plants but only found this tiny yellow butterfly on a thistle.
 “Wonder dates” in case you wonder, is a take-off on Julia Cameron’s “artist date,” defined as a "once-weekly, festive, solo expedition to explore something that interests you.” I am particularly fond of the bi-sensory word wonder, so that’s what I call my expeditions. Wonder holds a mental sense of curiosity as well a more spiritual sense of awe and mystery. I’m finding that the awe and mystery part of wonder takes slowing down and allowing the connection to the world around me to seep into my bones.
Afternoon light in Lassen National Park
My tiny trailer sits with a lovely view of the lake and a deck big enough for contemplating life and planning my next wonder date. In these perilous times of pandemic and politics, this may be the best gift I’ve ever given myself. 

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