Where would we be without the ones that mean the most to us? Without the ones that raise our spirits higher than we thought possible, but also keep us grounded at the same time. We are truly not ourselves without our loved ones. Without them we would be half alive, our character stuck in the grey. We would yearn for a sense of security but completely unsure where to find it. We run off of the company of these gifted people or in my case my dog.
Thanks to Cullen’s admirable endurance and natural instinct to explore this land I was once again able to experience what makes this life meaningful. The breeze from the trees providing me with fresh air, the sun’s light providing natural warmth and comfort, and purely the natural beauty this small part of the earth has for me to enjoy. With Cull Dog leading the way and me just following along on my mountain bike we were able to explore the wonders of Clough State Park. The park provided us with a labyrinth of trails, a strong river, a still lake, and views that made you mislay your place in time. We spent hours traveling up river searching for a spot that we could use as a put in for a kayak trip. Cullen and I traveled a wide smooth trail for an hour before it became more narrow giving way to a trail too rough for my bike to ride. I then decided to continue on foot, hiking in the deep woods being sure to make my presence known for any wild animal or hunter that could be around the next turn or behind the next tree.
After hours of searching, Cullen led me exactly to what I have been looking for, the perfect place to start our future kayak trip. With the help of Cull Dog this journey lead us straight to what will be one of our future trips, just as soon as the weather warms up and spring starts to exchange snow for leaves and greener grass. Making our way back to the car I detoured about 100 yards pausing river side. Completely immersed in the wonders of the woods with Cullen; I let go. I loosened my grip of what I considered to be the “real world” and sunk into my own void. The gushing from the river flushed out all of this world’s noise offering me the chance to hear nothing but the flowing of water, crackling of the fire I started moments earlier, and my own breath.
I then realized these are the moments that make life real. It is not the car you drive, the job you have, or the money you spend that creates true existence. It is the moments where you find yourself, when you can accept what is, and thanks to Cullen this is exactly what happened to me out on the bike ride/ hike. This little guy shows me how to be alive, and all I really need to do is let him be himself. To just let him pursue his instincts and do what makes him happy provides me with what I need to do the same. All I have to do is pay attention.