Labor Day morning was a beautiful North Carolina day here: blue skies, sunshine with a slight breeze.  A wonderful day to have off from work and to spend it outside. I was excited to walk with my dear friend Elizabeth, who I do not get to see as often as I like. She is a gifted photographer. She and I have known each other for more than 20 years, and her photos of my daughter at all ages from two weeks old to high school graduation are without question my favorite photos of Lindsay. She has what you would call an “eye.”

We had lots to catch up on, and I had been traveling the last couple of days so was really looking forward to an energetic power walk.  

What actually happened was that I slowed down long enough to really walk and explore with my eyes wide open. We were on a beautiful trail, one that neither one of us had been on before. We kept stopping as Elizabeth has been documenting daily a new series: #eyeswideopen. Oh my, the interesting shadows the sun left on the small creek, the amazing spiderweb still dripping with dew, the way the light danced between the trees, the water rushing over the smooth rocks, the view from the bridge, the huge bird hidden in some reeds…  So many sights that I would have rushed right by in my hurry to exercise and to talk. She made me slow down and really look around. I smelled the damp forest, I felt the sun on my face, I slid on rocks to get a closer look, and I just stopped and watched.

How lucky we are when we get to slow down and enjoy the last days of summer and breathe in the day, instead of carrying it around on our shoulders. Here’s hoping you enjoy some outside North Carolina time soon.