“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” – John Muir
Saturday, October 11th
Despite the fact that my husband works in the Outdoor Equipment industry, we have a difficult time making it out to the trails regularly. There are grocery runs, story times, play dates, big people dates, and other “necessities” of modern-day urban parenting. Today we joined Nature for an unrelenting and memorable hike.
I didn’t want to go. The morning was starting our productive. With husband to dress and distract the kids, I culled our collective closet and removed too-small worn-out wardrobe pieces. We folded three loads of laundry and put them away. I was feeling that the world would operate much smoother if I stayed home and continued the clean. He was going to take the kids out for a hike and offered to give me the day to stay at home and do whatever. When he started looking up mountain hikes I started mentally preparing myself for changing out of my pajamas.
The most convincing argument to go was knowing that a hike would take me two hours outside of the city. Two hours away from schedules and neighbors and gas stations. Yes, let’s go! I thought I was preparing by bringing the child carrier, a bottle of water, two power bars and rain coats. Mountains are not governed by consistent logic or prep lists. The air was humid but dry and we were only chilly if we sat in the same spot. The loop was supposed to be easily hiked by youngsters, so we wouldn’t be sitting still anyway. The kids were slow to start but quickly got into a groove on the trails. We couldn’t see the neighboring peaks in all the fog, but I asked my daughter to breathe in the clouds and feel the cloud magic fill her body. The narratives kept her moving forward and engaged with the hike. We rounded a corner and walking in the clouds quickly turned to striding in the snowfall.
At some point I realized that I was quite happy to be helping my little ones work through their feelings of dread of hiking in the rain. All the other problems that had been vexing me were far away and I was handling the circumstances of the moment.
What activity is your surefire stress reliever?