I'm thinking.....I'm thinking.....apparently I've spent the year feeling NOT alive. That's not good. That kind of goes back to day one, when the only word I could come up with for the year was tired. Bad news for me.
On the other hand, I've been known to zone into activities so completely, that the rest of the world just fades into the background. (huh? - you can just see the blank expression on my face, and the confusion, when I'm interrupted, can't you?) While this isn't, perhaps the alive feeling that she's asking about, it is a feeling that feeds the soul. Reading a story, working on an art project, those are the kinds of things that I look back on with immense satisfaction.
While we were in New Hampshire this year, it was spectacular to be in the middle of the granite mountains, and the trees, and the amazing natural world. I don't spend a lot of time outdoors at home, but there, it was good to walk and see the darkness of the dense trees of the woods. To stand alongside thousands of pounds of solid rock that had stood in place for about as long as recorded history....gives you a sense of your position in the world, and the power of the mighty Creator. The green-ness of it was almost overwhelming. The sun only filters through the woods, so there it is dark, and cool and quiet. Look closely at the tiny etchings of the Creator's hand....tiny seeds and new trees that force their way through the piles of leaves on the forest floor....or in the cracks of solid rock.
I'm not sure it is alive, necessarily, but the anxiety attack I had on the top of the five story high overhang over Niagara Falls was similar. Water, rushing around and through, you could feel the vibrations through the earth, the buildings the sidewalks. The noise of the crashing on the rocks below, the wind whipping your hair, and your clothes about, and needing to feel little hands tightly in my own. Rain, and mist and cold air seep through the jackets, and the hair stuck to my face, but I couldn't let go of the baby hands. It is overwhelmingly gray. Gray rocks, gray water, gray air filled with mist and fog. Gray cold, and gray concrete sidewalks. Fear bubbles inside my chest, and the tears fall without any real warning. Of course, this doesn't promote calmness among my children either...but when is fear ever rational, or calm? It is a serious survival mechanism though, and it keeps me and my kids away from danger.
What a wondrous sight - the massive and deadly Falls, and I'm glad we've seen them. But, I don't need to go back, for awhile, at least. I've got plenty of irrational fears, right here on dry ground.