INSPIRING OUTDOOR CONNECTIONS

OUTSIDE, NEAR THE WATER IS WHERE I FOUND HOME

from journal, 2016, June 5 /

#DADDEFINEDOUTDOORS

 

i can credit the initial spark of curiosity for travel and exploring other cultures to my mom who took me as a kid on summer breaks to see areas like new mexico, colorado and the carolinas but my love for being outdoors is deeply rooted to my relationship with my dad.

i have an uncountable amount of memories from my childhood, but the one’s that are most prominent, heart warming and make me long for home are the ones of being outside with my dad. whether it was in the front yard, tinkering around with the car or taking a weekend getaway with my dad’s family and tagging along with him and my papa as we searched for the best fishing spot and viewed from a distance the water moccasins and other fresh water creatures that scurried around in their natural habitats.

i grew up in west texas where the summers are brutally hot, the land is flat and unattractive and the water is scarce. my favorite memories are a blurred, mixed of times spent with my brothers, step mom and dad sneaking away to the lakes in big spring and camping out for a night or two. we’d pile into the car and head out for a couple days to escape the day to day and emerge into what i now understand to be a place of sanctuary. for my dad, this is his happy place. sitting in silence in nature and whether he catches something or not, he’s content with the peace it brings him to be in this element.

i used to live for these days as a kid. running around the lake with my brothers, playing silly games and getting my hands dirty with worm guts. we’d make up games that tested our fears and proved who was the most courageous one of all. my brothers often grew exhausted and bored of this retiring to the camper and counting down the hours until we went back home, but me, i’d lose sleep staying up late or waking up early, just to be with my dad as he’d sneak away from the campsite to the lake to catch fish when no one was out. i was always too loud and talkative, him telling me that i was scaring the fish away, but he always let me come.

as i grew older, we stopped going as much. west texas droughts dried up the lakes nearby, i grew older and more busy with life and these trips slowed and eventually came to a stop.

this time was so long ago but when i think of my dad i always go back to these days on the lake.

last year, when i made my way home for a few weeks, we made a plan to take a trip up to my uncles and spend a few days fishing. it was different than when i was a kid. the weather was brutally hot, the fish were not as quick to bite or as big as they had been before and my brothers weren’t there to keep me entertained. but, it still felt the same.

my step mom woke up early to help us get ready for the day, packing lunches, lovingly poking fun and nagging at my dad and my niece bursting with excitement to do something that she’d never done and to be with papa. for me, it was as if i had stepped back in time, but instead of experiencing it first hand, i was watching what it was like for me as a kid.

my dad quiet, concentrating on getting all the bits together for what was needed for a day out on the water. my niece running wild with excitement, asking a million questions and my dad telling her she was going to scare the fish away. my cousins growing bored and uninterested quickly while my niece pestered us all with her thrill to be outside and enjoying something new. packing up and searching for a better spot with more fish biting and mid day napping in the shade. my uncle poking fun at everyone and us all secretly, in our own ways taking something away from these days that we didn’t even realize in the moment what it was.

i’ve sat with this memory for months now, thinking back to how much it meant to me to be able to experience this with my dad at this point in my life. it wasn’t until a week ago that i realized exactly what this meant, to me and to my dad.

my dad had texted me a few photos of him and my niece planting seeds in the garden and said simply,

 

i’m trying to make sure we make memories for that little girl. i don’t know how long god is going to bless us to be in her life.

that’s when i really understood what my dad had done for me through these fishing trips. he has instilled in me so many things from this simple pastime that i can’t really find the right words for, but if i only had one to use, it would be memories.

memories that have given me an appreciation and patience to be outdoors. to take time to observe and wait for nature.

to allow people to be who they are, even when they’re scaring the fish away.

as a kid, in those moments, i never had thought that there would be a time when i wouldn’t be able to be doing exactly what i was doing, running around outside, pestering my dad and brothers and living in the moments, making memories.

now that i’ve grown older and have a different understanding of life, i realize the importance that these times have and how much love was put into such a simple moment. my dad has been making memories for my step mom, for my brothers, for me.

memories that at the surface just appear to be nostalgic stories told, but when you look a bit deeper are actually the roots that ground the people that they’ve been built for.

for me, no matter where i’m at, if i’m outside and near the water, i’m reminded of these times spent with my dad and my family and i always feel at home.

 

 

xx,

e

DAD HAS MADE A BIG IMPACT ON WHAT IT MEANS TO GET OUTSIDE AND GET INTO NATURE TO ME.

 

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About eunique deeann

creative vision + voice behind Stranded on Land. posted up in san diego exploring and bringing you fresh content. brand marketer by pay, road tripper and comfort zone pusher by play, experience creator by necessity.

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