Out of sight
There. Just beyond the dirty truck that pays my wages. Beyond the pump jack that draws the oil in homage to greed. Beyond the quarry I load rock from to strengthen a road that nature is trying to reclaim. Beyond the signs of “Warning” and “Danger” and “No” in all its various forms. Beyond the top of the bluff cleared of vegetation to reveal the gravel I haul.
Just there, out of view, is what I was looking for. What I need.
I’ve been to this pit hundreds of times. Moved tens of thousands of tons of dirt and rock to service an industry that serves only itself and harms our planet in the process. Until today I have never taken the time to see where I am.
I am at the edge of Lake Sakakawea, one of the largest man made lakes in the US. I can’t see the big lake from here, just one of the many fingers that trails between the open miles of bluffs and valleys, but what I see takes my breath away.
Seeing it required that I first be curious. That curiosity actually came from my frustrations. I constantly struggle with my decision to be here. Working in the oilfield clashes with my sense of ecological morality. I needed to breathe for a minute.
Then I had to get out of my truck. Leave my job behind for a moment. I had to walk away from it and the world it exists in. Away from the oil wells and quarries and from the road itself. Away from all the things that trouble me. Even from my decision to be here in the first place. To a place I could not see beyond.
It didn’t take long. Just a few minutes. It was worth it.
Life is like that. Sometimes we have to move beyond what we see and know in order to find the things that really matter. The things that bring us peace.
So today I’m going to make a simple suggestion: Go further. Go beyond the confines of your daily life. Beyond your job. Beyond your obligations and worries. Step outside of your routine and your life. Leave it all behind, just for a little while, I promise you it will all still be there when you get back.
For a moment, step outside of the life you live and walk or run or drive just over the next hill or around the next turn. Go just a little further.
You already know what’s here. What lay ahead? Just there, out of sight.