Calming sunrise in West Texas

Relaxation was never so simple

When my brothers and I were young, my mom stayed home with us. She was there when we got home from school and there with us in the summer while we were home all day—probably driving her crazy—while my dad was at work. Like most young siblings, my brothers and I argued and whined about various things: “I’m bored” or “I’m thirsty and there’s nothing here to drink.” I remember Mom’s solution to our whining and arguing: “Go outside!” Grumpily, we’d venture outside, often to the vacant lot across the street where we played in the dirt and rode our bicycles with the other neighborhood kids through an obstacle course we set up. Soon, we forgot all about being thirsty and bored.

When I look at this calming image, which I captured in West Texas, these memories come to mind. Going outside helps me change my channel, whether I’m worrying about events in the world or simply needing a break from staring at my phone or computer. When I feel my stress level rising and my brain reaching overload, thanks to my mom’s advice, I’ll turn everything off . . . and go outside.

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