summer trip logLast week I shared about my most recent father/son trip with Gabe. Here’s the map of where we went. We started in Seattle, headed over to the Cascades before doubling back to the northwest most corner, then driving through seashores, forests and mountains all the way to San Francisco.

One of the great things about these journies with Gabe is that they give me the chance to indulge in activities that are close to my heart, but for which I never seem to have enough time. For the last few summers we have had musical instruments with us.

Seth on guitar in the mountainsMy wife, Laura Baron, is a great musician. And Gabe, too, has the talent. But, I have never spent a reasonable amount of time trying my hand at making music, though it calls to me. I am not interested in performing for anyone but myself. Nonetheless, the allure of expression and musical joy is strong inside.

So, every summer I begin guitar, or something else that takes me into the world of music. I think it has to do with spending so much time outdoors and letting my unrestrained self to the surface. 

summer whaleOn this most recent trip, we also made a stop in Eugene, Oregon, where I lived when I was two years old. We actually found a playground that was there when I was two, 54 years ago. Here is a picture of me in side a concrete whale I used to climb on when I was much smaller, at Skinner Butte.
Gabe and me

Trips like this not only renew my spirit, carrying me to places I want to visit (inside and out), they make it possible for aspects of my spirit to emerge, facets of my soul that otherwise stay in the background. It’s one of the great joys of time off the grid.

Is there a part of you that wants to come out? How can you make room for it in your world? Revitalization comes not from sleeping in one more day and pushing away exhaustion, but making room for energetic forces to course through your being, charged currents that bring life to dormant vitality.

You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul.

– Swami Vivekananda