My bags were packed, and the car was loaded, but I hadn’t made it out yet. As I scanned over my room one last time, my lenses developed a pinkish hue.
My 4k television, my oversized wardrobe, my Tempur-Pedic bed… all the comforts of home poured into view as one more climbed into my lap. “I can’t leave Charlie too…” the weight of reality hit me with one last shot. An upper cut of doubt that threw me back against my headboard.
And as I slouched, fear had it’s turn “what if the plane goes down” “what if we slide off a mountain pass” “what if” “what if” “what if”. Lower and lower I sank, just inches from my pillow, when my phone illuminated.
Half annoyed, I reached to clear what turned out to be some meaningless Facebook notification, but as I tapped my screen to attention, a field of sunflowers, taller than me rushed into view.
I had taken the image just one week prior, on a last-minute trip to an unplanned destination. Two days before the solar eclipse, I had completely given up on seeing it. Yet, as I sat at home, wanting it to pass, and dreading all of the photos and stories that would remind me of what I'd missed, a call from my father inspired me to go.
That last-minute nudge led to one of the most awe-inspiring experiences of my life. And now there it was, compressed into a screen, yet still carrying a hint of reality. A subtle reminder to get out there. To experience things. To live.
I pet Charlie goodbye and hit the road. A road that lead to four long days of laughter, adventure, and experience. A road that lead to life.