Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The anatomy of happiness

Golden light poured through my windshield. The frost covers the windows and turns the light into sparkling fractions, pressed up against the box of the car we were sleeping in.

I thought a lot about the anatomy of happiness in those moments of sleepy, drifting ideas you get when you are first waking up. I thought about falling asleep in my sleeping bag with the cold air surrounding me, and the quiet mornings of pink, burning skies. I thought about watching fires turn to embers and the warmth of whiskey felt in my face.

The mornings of coffee in the backcountry will, for me, be the best ones and I am coming to love the desperate situations that turn to the best stories later on. I love the tired muscles when I've walked for miles, and the alpine lakes that are so cold that they take away my breath when I'm brave enough to dive under. I love the turning of another day in a different place, makeshift dinners made in parking lots, and late night talks that turn into early morning conversations. 

The past month and a half, I've done almost nothing but travel wherever I choose. It's been a luxury and I'm so grateful, knowing that I have had both the time and the funds to do this- the rare occasion that both fall into place.

We went to the Salton Sea, Zion National Park, the Grand Canyon, Denver, Jackson, Bozeman, Glacier National Park, Yellowstone and then finished the grand road trip by shooting a wedding outside of the Tetons.

I think when I dissect the happiness into pieces, these moments are the ones that help me lift my head through the heaviness. When I think of what I'm thankful for in this life season, I think of the screaming laughter- tears pouring from the corners of my eyes driven from smiles. There's been a lot of those lately, and the freedom of the road brings out that happiness in me. It allows me to let go, to observe, to think a day at a time, to seize opportunity and chance and keep a cup of coffee as my only routine. It allows me space to create and think about the person I want to become.

Because how can you not fall in love with the world like this?