Pre-sunrise wake-up. Success. I make myself a pour-over coffee and fill a thermos and grab my cameras and tripod for a morning hike through the dunes. As I walk, I realize how fully in sync I feel with this place. I walk along the beach and revisit the seal sandbar before climbing the hill of the beach’s crest and begin meandering through the dunes. I come upon new shacks I’ve never seen before. Their roofs pop up in the distance and I approach cautiously with my camera, not wanting to disturb any inhabitants. But, I don’t come across anyone. In fact, I haven’t seen or spoken to anyone today or heard the television, the news, or looked at a glowing screen. But, I don’t feel like I’m missing anything, and in fact, I feel quite the opposite. It’s a feeling of being fully present in the moment in the world. I didn’t identify this feeling immediately. It felt like a foreign thing – this lack of anxiety. Like someone pulled a string releasing the knot I didn’t realize I had in my head and heart. And yet it took several days of being in this incredible place to even approach this feeling. Why is this? Another resolution: when I return to my regular life I am going to spend more time alone in nature whenever possible, and I’m going to do it even if I don’t feel compelled to - a mandatory reprogramming exile. You can’t always realize what you are missing in day-to-day life. This experience has taught me that from time to time you need to leave your life in order to find it again. I think nature is the place to do this, and I know now that being alone in this process is essential.