I miss the country. Living in the city is amazing....but finding time to get away from everything is harder than it was when I lived in Athens. In college, (this wasn't super smart!) I use to drive out to the open farm land after getting off at Jittery Joes. This was usually sometime after 11 or close to midnight, and would just park my car in a field and lay on the hood and watch the stars. I've always loved watching the stars. It takes a lot of time and patience so sit there and just stare at the sky...waiting for something to shoot across the night sky. I did this a lot during winter months and would keep giant blankets in my trunk in case an impromptu moment called and I found myself driving to the end of Milledge to my claimed plot of farm land.
I had so many nights of awesome alone time with the Lord...praying...blasting Sean McDonald from inside the car and singing at the top of my lungs. Beauty of the country, you can't bug anyone out there with the music...or with my singing! Spending time in nature is just one of those things for me that just rejuvenates my soul...I feel closer to the Lord. Not sure if it's because all of life's biggest distractions are far from my access, or because nature is just so beautiful...or because of the quiet that comes.
Honestly, I think college was the last time I was able to do that. However, a few weeks ago I went up to the mountains with some friends to spend some time hanging out. A random drive in the truck to see a reservoir turned into an awesome adventure as the night crept in. Everyone seemed in need of just being outside and driving in the country. The drive in the back of the truck bed alone was amazing...wind blowing....too fast to really talk....and the scenery was too pretty to miss anyway!
We randomly stopped at a big open field on our way back to the house. At first I didn't know what we were doing, and then I noticed the sun was starting to set and where we had parked provided a beautiful view.
Hillsong was turned up and the windows of the truck came down.
We all sat on the truck bed ...silent; just watching. I moved to a giant fence at the edge of the field for a better view...and to just take in more of being outside. A couple people joined me. And we sat. Quiet. Listening. Just being.
I think that is what I miss most.
Nothing else going on.
No noise besides night bugs and worship music in the distance.
Then, in the peaceful serenity...one of the guys turned and looked at us with an awesome smile and took off through the field! The grass was up past his knees and there was a huge hill in the distance where the sun was setting.
A couple of us watched for a minute....he sped through the grass....on a mission....bounding if you will because the grass was so tall. We only watched for a moment...and then without a word being said, I looked at the guy next to me, and we both darted off the fence following the path up the hill! So much joy and laughter is involved when running through a tall grass field. I of course tripped and fell...but pulled myself together to continue the run. It was exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. It had probably been years since any of us had run through a field like that....
Once we reached the top of the hill, the scenery before us was even more beautiful than at the bottom of the field. We turned and saw behind us the rest of the group bounding through the grass to join us! Then we watched the sun slip away behind the horizon.
I'm use to experiencing all of that alone, however, even with everyone there, the presence and serenity of the Lord was felt.
It wasn't Athens, and there were no stars, but it was just what I needed: Gainesville and a field. Thankful for blessings that sneak up on you.