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If I had a year to live . . .

"If I had a year to live, what would I explore?"

It's March 2024. Angela and I are creating in our cozy Scandinavian studio, nestled on a hilltop surrounded by majestic forests. We've been here for 3 months and it feels a lot like the movie/book series NARNIA. It's a wintry paradise.

We designed our cabin with towering windows that span floor to ceiling. Every wondrous view looks out onto a forested enclave. Every vista is a miracle that takes our breath away. We marvel at the life we created. Every morning the sun greets us by brushing her radiant rays onto the side of the mountain. It's as if God herself paints a hand of light, reminding us that our lives are nothing short of a miracle.

We sit across from one another in our 'salon', the room of light, sipping a freshly-ground cup of coffee while listening to the gentle wind as she whispers through the trees. We delight in the way two squirrels dance and play amongst rolling snow caps as if we are their only audience.

It's different here.

Life in the Laurentians.

Nature is the stage for the senses . . . a powerful play that unfolds before our very eyes and if we listen closely we can contribute a verse.

If I had a year to live, what would I explore? This is one of the 60 plus questions that form the basis for our latest book - a guide for living . . . 'Living What Matters.'

We've been living these questions for the past 2 years - inspiring us to leave our old numbed out life behind. So, if I had a year to live I would explore the changing of seasons with child-like wonderment - witnessing the undulating curves frosted in powdery white. The experience transports me back in time to a younger, innocent self . . . a simpler time when all that mattered was the powerful play of the moment.

From time to time I share photos of our simple 'paradise' - our heaven with friends and family on social media. Bright red hearts are cast our way along with a few automated replies. Among the sea of 'thumbs and high-fives' a curious question weaves its way to my personal inbox. "You still have snow?"

I peer over my clear-rimmed glasses at Angela, my rosy cheeks glistening, a smile broadening. "Yes, we still have snow in March in the Laurentians."

What Angela and I desired to explore above all else was to marvel at the changing of seasons - to wake up our soul . . . to feel our one precious life - an emotion that many of us have cast away during our 'pursuit of more.' Yes my friends, despite spring being only a heartbeat away we are blessed with rolling hills of plush white snow. Truth be told we're not in a rush for it to fade away. It sounds a bit absurd right? I wrote an earlier BLOG at the start of our 'uncertain' journey titled: 'I swapped Converse shoes for hiking boots.'

If nature has taught us anything it's this:

Slow down. Pause. Look up and marvel at the changing of the seasons.

Nature has its own schedule. It can't be rushed or urged into submission. Nature beats to its own rhythmic drum. No matter how much we attempt to control it we will not succeed. As humans we've forgotten that we're visitors here - Mother Earth has been around a lot longer than we have and despite the latest iphone . . . the 'so-called advancements in the fast-paced world we've collectively created, nature still sets the stage to nourish our soul.

The day surrenders to the night as the sun makes its slow descent into the mountainous horizon.

The stars ignite the cobalt sky.

The wind exhales a frosty minty breeze.

Nature provides the ultimate performance - a lifetime of stilled moments. Our role is to sit back, widen our eyes, open our hearts and listen with the intent to understand the whisper of our soul.

Nature is the stage for the senses . . . a powerful play that unfolds before our very eyes and if we listen closely we can contribute a verse.

(Inspired by Walt Whitman - a lover of nature)

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