I complained to my best friend of my gardening woes, “The leaves on these bean plants have taken over with vines everywhere, but nothing’s happening!” As I watered all the plants before we left to camp, I peeled the petals back to peer in the box. Imagine my surprise to see about a dozen or so beans ready to pick! Still waiting to pull the carrots, garlic and onions, but stole 18 tomatoes from the garden this morning, most cherry.

My awesome and tasty Green Beans grown from seed
My awesome and tasty Green Beans grown from seed

Seems like lately joy derives from gardening and camping. We soaked in a mellow, yet invigorating, weekend full of hiking adventures, meditation sessions and attempts to swim in freezing waterfalls. Let us not forget the obscene amounts of grilled food we consumed, along with the naps that extended well into the evening hours. Taking the secluded trail from our site to the cascades at 1:00 a.m. felt exhilarating and gratifying. You haven’t really lived until you cross a lengthy suspension bridge in the dark only to lay in the middle of it over the agile sound of the water raging below.

My friend Matt in the red shirt enjoying the best meditation spot ever… about half a mile away from The Buzzard’s Roost located at Fall Creek Falls, Pikeville, Tennessee

With a focus on gratitude this month, I feel especially thankful for experiences. Despite expressing disdain for gardening earlier this year, now I eagerly look forward to what’s going on in my Earth Boxes. Sure, to enjoy certain experiences, you gotta invest in the necessary materials, but overall I feel happier spending money on trips and vacations versus meaningless purchases like souping up my car. Even research suggests investing in memorable experiences to increase happiness, which typically results in higher satisfaction with regards to the spending decision.

Keegan walking dangerously close to the edge

Only 6 days into this month so far, but it feels great already. Between frequent journaling, meditating and exercising, issues I once considered imminent have become a thing of the past. Forgiveness eases the soul and soothes the mind. Let’s just say that it’s time to let go of worrying, and I think I finally have. Making peace with the past is a beautiful thing. I feel grateful to be alive and in the company of good people. As Emerson stated, “In the woods we return to reason and faith”. I couldn’t agree more, as I returned from the weekend feeling incredibly relaxed.

In addition, dreary passages of death, loss and destruction (as mentioned in my previous post) have astoundingly shifted my thinking to appreciate the effortless flow of life as it exists right now. Maybe I should have been reading sad stories all along……….