It’s been one month since I have been home, yet the mountain pine and sage-scented air and crisp, clean water still amaze me every day.
Welcome to Bend, Oregon. It’s a magnificent thing really. Nature, in nearly every form, at your fingertips. Spring skiing in May, mountain biking year round, trail running in town and camping in utter solitude a bike ride away.
I would like to write a short snippet about value. What we value, who we value, how our values change and evolve and why values are so important. It’s a cultural phenomenon to a large degree. Yet, is also intrinsically related to evolution.
Ah yes, that age old question of nature versus nurture.
Well. In my mind, it’s nearly always both. Our values are no different. As a human being , we require clean air, water, food, shelter, social support and love to thrive. How each of these items manifests is largely built on the cultures we grew up in.
I spent the better part of last year abroad, exploring values different than my own. Learning how people in Senegal, Thailand and Nepal live, love and thrive. I can tell you, it is a world apart from how I do it. Living in these wildly different cultures, conditions and value systems led me to question my own, as so often travel does.
Why does solitude in a natural setting feed my soul? Why do I cherish the symphony of bird song river and trees as deeply nourishing? Why do I place so much value in Bend, Oregon?
Who am I, anyways!?
The things that I know and love such as my closest friends, family, that oh so familiar scent of juniper and pine and really great craft beer all reside here. And I value that. While I strongly advocate travel and believe it will push, pull, challenge, twist, turn and totally mangle your sense of self in the best way, I also advocate knowing your roots. Explore other ways of life, other cultures, other values with an open mind and an open heart, all the while keeping in mind where your own values lie.
So go forth, my wayward daughters and sons! Explore the vastness of your mind and the world. Get a little (or a lot) confused about your values and come home again. I have faith you’ll be the better for it.