I like to start off a group, especially one that hasn’t met for a while, with a free write. It’s a helpful way to get out whatever is on your mind, like a journal entry. Once you get it out, you can generally move on to other things. If nothing else, it’s certainly therapeutic.
This response, for me, was particularly freeing. I had just returned from a weekend trip to Eastern Oregon and felt quite inspired to share my experience from the road.
Here is what I wrote:
It’s amazing how the place never changes. The rolling hills of Eastern Oregon in Wamic county have this timeless quality, that serve as a mile post for my life. Every time I look at the land, I make a mental notch to note how far I’ve come since I was just a boy.
Driving out there is my favorite part. The further I escape from the clutches of urban life, daily life, the more I began to dissolve. I watched the landscape turn dryer and more rugged. Concrete gave way to rock cliffs and waterfalls through the Gorge, where the wind howled through with a life force of its own. It sounded like a voice who’s tone was neither welcoming nor discriminating.
We drove for miles and miles, parallel with the river, winding with bends and curves. Through the farmland is where I felt the wight of the world truly lift off me. As far as my eye could see, as we climbed mountains and burrowed through valleys, the land reminded me how small I really am.
I’ve travelled that road many times in my life, but somehow it always feels new and vital. It’s like an old friend, picking up an age old conversation right where we left off.