I want to be weirder. I want to let the real me out to play and not get so hung up on being “perfect.” Because being “weird” just means being you.
I am an equal opportunity hiker. It’s easy to love a trail that winds through a tranquil forest, along a shimmering creek, with picturesque views of mountains every step of the way. And yet, beauty comes in many forms. Trails through strange, stark, dark places call me, too. Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve in south central Idaho is just such a place. The preserve includes three lava fields that were formed by volcanic eruptions from the Great Rift of Idaho 15,000 years ago. The aftermath has left a weirdly beautiful landscape with tons of volcanic features to explore.
It’s warm in Nashville on this Thursday night before Memorial Day 2018. My guy, Bryan, and I are walking from our high rise hotel in trendy, corporate downtown toward Nashville’s Broadway District. We’re here for a weekend of music—U2’s eXPERIENCE & iNNOCENCE concert and the Grand Ole Opry.
The streets and sidewalks are mostly empty in downtown Nashville. After only a block or so from downtown, the scenery changes. There are more people out and about. People are drinking, talking, and hanging out on bar patio decks. The noise level is steadily rising. We round the corner onto Broadway.
And are enveloped in the sound of live music.
The breeze is gently blowing through the trees. A wind chime sounds, and mourning doves murmur. Here and there I hear voices, people outside enjoying the summer evening, children playing. These are the sounds of my neighborhood. I’m walking through the Boise North End from the local gas station, carrying a 6-pack of beer and a stick of beef jerky. And I’m in love with my new hood.