Here I sit.
An adventurous spirit caged in the frame of someone more than twice my age. My Ellie still lives, but the end result feels much the same. This dream that has been long sought after, I’m afraid, is waning away.
Each year- as physical limitations make their presence more painfully known- the likelihood of taking my wife by my side and reaching that Colorado mountaintop to finally live the dream of homesteading in a very real and tangible way seems less and less achievable. We are getting too old and our bodies too worn down- unable to bear the physical load required to create a life in such a remote place.
More likely than not, it seems as though these dreams will wind up as a box containing a deed, house plans, and detailed diagrams of things once discussed with hopeful anticipation. I fear this box will sit on a shelf somewhere, collecting dust, until a painful day, many years down the road, when this box is opened- only to reveal things that could have been.
Or will it?
The dream was to live a unique and remote lifestyle that would showcase the beauty of hard work, of relying more on what you can do (or learn to do) and less on what others do for you, and of a holistic lifestyle devoted to caring for those people and things around you while learning to enjoy the simplicity of making a life without forsaking “life” in order to earn a living.
Of course, having acreage on the top of a mountain in Colorado provides a pretty great view while all of this is going on!
That said, I’ve come to a realization.
Where we are is determined, not by where our feet are, but by where our eyes are.
Let me explain!
You see, while our feet are only a few hours from the Eastern coast of the U.S.A., it was only recently that our eyes were located elsewhere. Still confusing? I’ll clarify.
While are eyes are focused on our feet, we will not move beyond our current situation to realize our dreams. It is not until our focus shifts that we begin to see where we truly are and where our path is leading.
If I focus on my feet, I am located in Central Georgia, USA. I am many hours away from this place in our dreams. I do not have the resources necessary to make this dream a reality. I don’t even have a wilderness adventurer knocking at my door looking for a badge in helping others. In the movie “UP”, Carl at least had balloons to help float his house across the Americas to wind up where he ultimately wanted to be. I HAVE ZERO BALLOONS!
But what I do have is this:
While I am located hours away from a physical location, I realized that I am already living this dream today. How so?
- We are involved in planting a church for families with special needs. Our lifestyle doesn’t get much more remote than that and hard work is definitely required!
- I am living in a house full of windows (natural light is a key component in our Colorado plans).
- I just finished planting 9 of 10 raised bed gardens at our home (also key in Colorado plans).
- This home is equipped with a chicken coop and goat shed (you guessed it- Colorado plans).
- This home also has multiple fruit trees, space for the kids to play, and clean air (again, check).
- While we could still remove ourselves from more technology, a simple life doesn’t have to mean a life devoid of electronics. Simplicity is a choice. (doing good so far)
It seems to me that the key to finding my Paradise Falls without having to have all of those pesky balloons boils down to one word:
I wonder how many of us are closer to realizing our dreams than we think?
I wonder if Paradise Falls is more about a journey than a destination?
I wonder where you are?
Do you even know?
If you feel like your dreams are a bit beyond your reach, keep digging- but not just where your feet are. Sometimes taking a moment to shift our focus is all that we need to see that we don’t have far to go.
And sometimes… sometimes we’ll find that we’ve been there all along.