And the same is true with every place we visit. There is a lot to hike, ride, and see in Palo Duro Canyon, but there was no way we were going to be able to do even a fraction of it.
Despite the late arrival, despite the heat, despite the rain, we had some much needed outdoor therapy and unplugged time as a family. COVID-19 has affected all of us in different ways and for our family there was this strong need to just do something and go somewhere. While we wait for our summer vacation plans (which still look promising), this gave us the brief respite that we needed.
More than that, I can’t put a numerical value on the way that finally getting back out of the house and back into nature helped to heal me when I was the most broken, the most alone, and the most frustrated I have been in my adult life. It took me away from my computer and my cell phone (mostly), provided me with outdoor exercise, and helped me to reconnect with my family. It got me away from a house that I simultaneously loved and loathed, keeping me from obsessively planning how we were going to afford or find the time for the next renovation project. It took me out of a city that often felt like a shoe that didn’t fit right, pinching my toes and scraping my heel. Most importantly, it brought me face to face with my Creator as I marvelled at the trees, hills, waterfalls, shorelines, sunsets, and stars that make up creation. At a time where even church didn’t always feel like a perfect fit, He was showing me where I still fit into His big picture, reminding me that even in the difficult seasons, He is the master of all.
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