Spontaneity isn't written into my DNA. I might go as far to say that it's unnatural for me. I'm a planner. I like to be organized. I like for my days to be scheduled out. It makes me feel like I'm in control. Luckily, I married someone who likes to go with the flow because slowly my habits are starting to change and I've become more open to spontaneous adventures.
A lot of my stress and anxiety comes from trying to plan for the future so I've made a concerted effort to try to relax and take things as they come. I'm working to change my mindset one day at a time because things rarely work the way you expect. I want to focus on living the little moments and details instead of missing out because I'm unable to enjoy the present.
Sometimes I surprise myself. Sunday afternoon we drove over the Savannah River at the GA/SC state line and passed by a sign for the Savannah River Bluffs Heritage Preserve. Alex has been a few times with friends and taken Aengus along for a hike but it never really crossed my mind that I should get out there an experience the nature preserve for myself until that moment. We went home and changed clothes, packed a bag, loaded up some film, and set back out for the trail.
After a short drive through the residential part of Savannah Barony, we came upon the parking area. There's a relatively short downhill hike straight down past some houses and driveways until the trees break at the power lines. We were lucky to go out on a cool day and the shade kept us from needing our sunglasses. We hiked up the power lines a bit to the second trailhead. Along the way we spotted some wild blackberries and even wild thistle! I never expected to see thistle growing in the wild right in our own hometown.
Once we were back in the woods we passed a few people leaving the bluffs and climbed over several downed trees. We hiked up and down hills for maybe a mile until we finally reached the Savannah River.
Someone was out reading in their ENO and we met a few dogs. We introduced ourselves to a fellow film enthusiast and traded stories about our favorite thrift shop camera finds and mail-in developing services. One of the girls is working with local art non-profit to set up open developing hours. If that gets going, we will probably get some use out of our bulk film loader.
Alex stripped down to his shorts and braved the cool water for a quick dip. We spotted some ducks and a little blue heron flew overhead. After taking some time to sit and convene with nature, we packed up and headed back to the car. On the way back we spotted some wild mushrooms and possibly heard a deer crunching through the leaves.
Of course since the way to the river is mostly downhill, the route was a bit more treacherous on the way back. I was struggling to make it up the last hill on the way back but I made it thanks to a few breaks and our growler full of water. In the end I felt so accomplished! I left more at peace than I came. I can't say that I've ever regretted taking the time to get outside and explore. Try it, you'll thank me.