South Dakota Sunset

When you’ve got places to be, you’re running behind because you were just somewhere else you had to be and somewhere in-between here and there you’re hoping to get caught up on what you haven’t been paying attention to – things like email, an actual conversation with your spouse, messages and calls that need returning because, well because it’s how you get things done and it’s what others expect – how often do you simply lift your eyes to the world around you and soak it in?

It can be tough, taking the time each day to consciously just ‘stop’. Stop and soak up the scenery, or the people around you and the places you whiz by. But I challenge you (I say ‘you’ loosely here. I have only a vague idea of a few who might read this. My hope is at the very least, my kids will someday read back over my words and know this was something I felt important for not only my own life, but theirs as well) to slow down and try to notice something new in your every day. In your drive to work or back home. In the people around your office. Or even in observing your own child. So much in that snapshot of our daily lives, no matter how routine, is constantly changing. And it’s pretty awesome, inspiring and humbling when you stop to look at any of it.

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In-between a series of meetings, volleyball games, dropping off the gun my daughter had borrowed from the neighbors to go pheasant hunting last weekend, trying to find a few minutes to change into something warmer, grab a bite to eat and make it on time to rehearsal for the musical in town .. I didn’t have really any time to spare as I sped down a gravel road near our home this evening. But I saw the scene above, put my foot on the brake, let it register that I did actually see a scene that awesome, turned the car around and stepped out of the drivers seat for a few moments to soak it all in.

I’ve tried to make this a daily practice most of my adult life, but it’s never been this effortless. Life here everyday in so many ways, reminds me of how fortunate I am. It reminds me again to stop. To breathe and soak it all in. I hope you have this too.

I am so in love with a state (far more than just the state) I never thought I would know .. no more than the speedy drive through on my way to wherever I needed to be next, anyway.

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