The best surprises are unplanned.
My dear friend from Los Angeles called me a week ago to say she was coming out to visit in two days.
I was thrilled because there is no one else in the world who I can sit with for hours and hours talking. But honestly, the timing could have been so better. I don’t have permanent housing at the moment, I’ve been working 50 hours a week and I’ve been staying up into the wee hours to write.
I was stressed. I wasn’t prepared for her. I didn’t plan for an unexpected guest.
She’s always been compelled by Boulder and from the moment I knew she was coming, I was busy planning what we’d do. I didn’t want her to be disappointed.
But then, on the last full day of her trip, we were supposed to go up to a concert a couple of hours drive away. The whole afternoon and evening was scheduled with music, dinner and friends.
She turned to me over coffee that morning and asked me if I’d be upset if she didn’t want to go.
She was tired of plans and wanted to melt into the blissfulness of doing absolutely nothing. But she was afraid of letting me down by breaking up with our plans.
I was happy to do what she wanted to do, but there was that voice in my head that was uncomfortable with the unknown, unexpected and unplanned.
We ended up taking a leisurely slow morning walk and moseyed around the farmer’s market drinking cold-pressed juice and chatting.
We decided to drive up into the mountains to escape the heat and just spend time with Mother Nature.
We settled by a mountain lake lying on our backs on the ground. I still couldn’t quite focus and was distracted by my phone, my to-do’s and the stresses of all that had to be scheduled for my work week and my next move, so I started checking my phone.
My friend could see it in my eyes that I was not present. She told me to put my cell phone down, lay on the earth and just look up at the clouds.
I listened. I let go of the need to plan, to control and to know what was coming next. I felt the cool breeze of the lake waters tickle my skin, I watched the clouds and eventually I fell asleep and had the most peaceful nap out in Mother Nature.
Release the need to plan and just wait and see what is received.
I was received by that very moment, in nature, with a friend who I cherish very dearly.
Sometimes the biggest adventures happen when you have nothing prepared and nothing planned.
The sweetest moments come from having no expectations and no destination in mind.
Author: Caitlin Oriel
Editor: Travis May
Image: Flickr/Carola Ferrero