I came into 2014 with the assumption of flowing on from where I left off 1 week before 2013 ended. Meaning, my life was ready to revolve again around work, work … and ummm, work.
Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do and always find lots of time to do other things I love. However in reflection, I seem to remember the mechanics of 2013 events, not the actual feelings that vibrated within the event. I preach presence constantly. I encourage taking the time to feel every moment, and yet, I’m not sure I did.
Last Saturday night my partner and I were more than disappointed to find that our chosen screening of ‘The Railway Man’ had SOLD OUT! After a brief rock, paper, scissors moment we gave the patient cinema attendee our final movie selection for the evening. We were heading, still very disappointed, into Cinema 1 where ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ was showing.
Now, I am not about to go into some long winded review of the movie. If I had to capture it in 3 words I would use; hilarious, inspirational and relevant. Each word with an emphatic adjective in front. It was the first movie of 2014 for me and I believe, a year changer.
Within 14 hours of meeting Mr Walter Mitty, I was feeling inspired to the point of no return.
I love adventures! I love hiking and exploring new and [ almost] forgotten places. That’s why mid morning Sunday my walking shoes were on, sunscreen was applied and my eldest child was dragged out the door on another one of mum’s adventures. I am pretty sure he’d thought I’d grown out of this phase. I showed him!
With two of his friends in tow, the trek began. Four Shire suburban dwellers stood at the entrance to Kamay Botany Bay National Park, Kurnell. Backpacks at the ready we made our journey to the coast line and unexpectedly all the way back home to Cronulla. My group direction would have had us stop half way. But, as I was in the company of three 18 year old boys, the challenge just never ended. I was told we had to make it to the light house, there was no turning back until we had conquered this group decision [note; I was clearly not a deciding part of the group].
As it turned out, the lighthouse was a lot further than they envisioned.
Did at any point they give up and want to turn back, like the 12 year old boys I remember? NO!
We followed tracks that were clearly carved and then we found tracks that were tracks about 10 years ago. With the bush stubbornly holding strong while I weaved my way through splintery branches and vicious shrubs, the sensation that evolved in my legs can only be described as something between jelly and lead weights. I was beyond exhausted. The midday sun’s spell dazzled me as I found myself laughing hysterically whilst my son literally pushed me up the 5th sandhill in 15 minutes.
I love you, Walter Mitty.
Walking back along the beach of Boat Harbour with the sea gently cooling my sore done in feet, I couldn’t help but feel this overwhelming sense of achievement. It wasn’t just the fact that we had spent the last 3 hours exploring 14 kilometres of breathtaking coastline, it was the moment of being completely present in a place that effortlessly commanded it. At one point I found the four of us walking on separate fragments of an expansive rocky ledge and suddenly realised there was no noise. Not a sound. No noise from our mouths, not even our movements, the moment was without sound. Just sensation. A sensation of complete natural peace. Being in the natural world, amongst nature, you realise you don’t have to try to be peaceful. There are no mind prompts to keep you at peace, it comes without saying, without request. Peace and nature come together. They are one thing. You simply need to stand within it, to experience it.
Walter Mitty inspired me. He inspired my 2014 and identified one of the great elements that will make it a year of true authentic living… adventure.
Inspired by Walter Mitty.