A pretty interesting concept and one I’ve been turning over for a while now. It’s a term that’s used often and is definable, literally as “the choice, judgment, or control of when something should be done.” But it’s also this intangible idea, one that can leave us speechless, wondering when “fate” will step in and all our dreams, goals, ambitions will finally all align at the same time.
The closest I came to really understanding my own version of what timing is was in North Dakota.
While camping in Theodore Roosevelt National Park on our cross country trip, Kelly and I decided to head out of the park for a bit and explore the town surrounding it. After navigating a dirt road traffic jam of buffalo – just another typical day – we made it to the small town of Medora, ND. I felt like I’d stepped out of real life and into a full blown Western. Denim on denim, bandanas, saloon doors and a store that legitimately just sold bundles of yarn and paintings of elk – evidence to the right.
It was a fantastic town, full of character and warmth; everyone Kell and I met were so welcoming and helpful. We stopped at a bar called Boots and grabbed a beer, all the while watching the time. We were determined to get back to our campsite and hike up one of the mountains near our tent to see the sunset, having heard from locals through the day that dusk hanging low over the Badlands is something you definitely don’t want to miss.
Between people watching (so much flannel even in summer) and talking to locals at the bar we both weren’t at all surprised when we finally looked at our phones and realized we have maybe 5-10 minutes at most to catch the sunset. We sprinted to Kell’s car, barreling down the street kicking up dust and swinging a hard right to get back into the park. Chasing pink sky, loving it but also distressed at the fact that we were definitely going to miss the sun going down. Sad but reserved, we stopped speeding and slowed down, looking around us instead of focusing on the fading sun straight ahead. And everything fell into place.
A small family of horses suddenly were right next to our car. There were only five of them, two small colts and three grown horses. We’d been hearing from locals all day that although there are groups of horses in the park, it’s rare to spot them; unlike the buffalo who were basically one foot in front of us at every turn, the horses are shy and skittish, wary of campers and prone to running away at loud sounds. Because Kell and I had known we were too late to watch the sunset we’d been just cruising along really slow, so the car hardly making a sound – the horses didn’t even seem to register we were there. It was amazing to watch them gallop together alongside our car, the adults stopping every so often to make sure the colts caught up to them.
Of course it’s hard to constantly hold on to the mindset that “everything works out in the end,” but I feel like it actually does. Sometimes we have control over timing like its concrete definition suggests, sometimes we’re left wondering what could have been, sometimes there are cool unexpected twists in our favor. Not knowing what you’re going to get, isn’t that the fun of it?