When Smallness Is A Gift

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The taste of city living is sweet — the presence of inspired individuals from every walk of life, the palpitations of an undeniable collective energy, the prospect of adventure looming in nearly every corner — the list goes on.

But along with city living comes noise. Inevitably, a time transpires when the volume gets too loud. The effervescent hustle and bustle awakens an inherent urge to escape, if only for a moment, from the concrete jungles that serve as daily playgrounds — a quest to seek solace, to quiet the mind, to regain perspective.

After nearly two years of L.A.’s energizer bunny commotion, my time had arrived. Fast forward to a road trip from San Francisco that resulted in 10 hours along Highway 1 and consequently, the best therapy I’ve ever received.

Big city living as a young, independent adult, despite having an incomparable (and perhaps endearingly naïve) lust for life, does not come without its difficulties. Though it’s easy to pooh-pooh the trials and tribulations plaguing ambitious twenty-somethings, living in a state of mind where everything seems possible often lends itself to disappointment. It’s hard not to get discouraged when foreseen accomplishments have yet to come to fruition — a well-intentioned desire to have every piece of life’s puzzle in place. Responsibilities aside, it’s not always effortless to feel youthful and carefree but rather, it’s easier to feel burdened by a looming set of unmet expectations.

Feeling the weight of the aforementioned, it was divine timing that materialized my trip down the Pacific Coast for a dose of nature’s finest medicine. What started as a treat for my eyes snowballed into a treat for my soul. Destinations included the Pigeon Point Light Station, unsuspecting fruit stands and artisanal roadside vendors, the Bixby Bridge (and consequential Jack Kerouac musings) and a slew of unnamed turn-offs that produced magnificent views no photo or description could ever do justice.

I felt small. Incredibly, unfathomably small. For a moment, I felt silly — what are my problems likened to all of this? What am I but a blip here on Earth? Foolishness was soon overshadowed by comfort, in which I realized what a gift it was to revel in nature’s dichotomy — the simplicity of its pure and native state yet unparalleled grandeur, beyond the creative capabilities of any man.

That small feeling was a timely blessing I hope to encounter over and over again. How generous it is to receive such an accessible, simple reminder of our limited time on earth. What a joy it is to travel, near or far, to not only experience the destination’s natural splendor, but to simultaneously recalibrate when our minds waywardly narrow.

I will never forget the colors of the sun setting over McWay Falls, with its picturesque pastels fluidly saturating into fiery hues blazing across the skyline. It takes only a moment like that to regain what is so often lost in our “me me me” culture: perspective.

Let us all be so thankful for the existence of a piece of this Earth. We’re invited to enjoy it, for nature belongs to us all.

Image courtesy of Kristi Mikesky

Kristi began her career writing for Rachel Zoe's daily newsletter, The ZOE Report, in addition to acting as Community Manager for ZOE Media Group and Rachel Zoe Inc. Now working in digital PR, this Midwest transplant enjoys scouring tumblr blogs for inspiration and quality time with friends (both ideally accompanied by a good cup of coffee).

  • Charis Fishter January 16, 2014

    So good!! I absolutely LOVE that feeling of being swallowed up by the bigness of nature. It’s something I don’t think we allow ourselves to experience enough. It puts a lot in perspective. Thank you for sharing your beautiful thoughts! I’m a new reader, and I love this blog’s positive, gentle, intelligent spirit. More power to ya! xxx