Monday, June 27, 2011

Gypsy Moths & Birch Trees





I got realigned this weekend. Hiking. Climbing up the side of a gorge. Camping. A sharp pine scent filled my lungs with every inhale. Spoiled with sights that took my breath away, moment by moment, I returned to myself. I encountered a homecoming of the soul. Scent by scent. Sight by sight.











Priorities realigned. Worries rushed down, crashing against the rocks, slipping entirely out of view. When I studied the waterfalls we hiked to, I wasn’t focused on where the water went, but instead my eyes gravitated to the top.










Last week I asked you when you first fell in love with learning. (I still love reading every single one of your comments.) During my time away, I realized my answer to that question and it may surprise you. It surprised me.


My love affair with learning didn’t start in a classroom or due to a teacher’s investment in me (not a formal teacher anyway), it began with my dad. Whenever we were outside, my dad made a point to educate me about my surroundings and I soaked in every word. He explained the mysterious gauzy white ornaments on the trees and called them gypsy moths. He named the white trees birch. He had me breathe in skunk cabbage and pine, while modeling how to delight in the aroma of wet leaves. And I simply couldn’t get enough of it. I still can’t.


Being outdoors, in unscathed natural surroundings, flushed out so much of what crowds my mind on any given day. I returned to me.


Realigned, sharing my knowledge of the outdoors with my own children.


Ready to let that cleansing fuel me. Ready to have the “woods me” inspire the "me" at home.



Does time in the outdoors clear out the cobwebs for you like it does for me?

24 comments:

  1. Beautiful, beautiful, Wendy-girl.

    Absolutely beautiful.

    Love the pictures too!

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  2. yes, the outdoors is so therapeutic for me. My dad also inspired much of that, and my husband is from Oregon, which is all about outdoors. So, we always are looking for a way to expore everything God has to offer us in nature.

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  3. Absolutely! I have been craving my Grandma's cabin in Northern Michigan lately, wishing my children had a regular spot to search out minnows, wake to frying bacon and fall asleep to hoot owls. Many of my fondest memories were made in that three room cabin and its short wooded walk to the lake.

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  4. Love your photos, Wendy, but appreciated your insights even more.

    I'm not an outdoor girl unless a beach is involved. We went camping when our boys were little, but haven't in several years.

    I'd love to hike and do more outdoorsy things, but a horrific fear stops me. I'm so terrified of snakes that I don't venture into their neighborhoods. I know I'm missing out on so many wonderful opportunities, but I freak out at the thought of encountering one that I stay away. Sad, isn't it, especially when a national forest is in my backyard.

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  5. So touching, Wendy. Really. Thanks for sharing this.

    I've never considered myself an outdoors girl, but for the last few months I've been spending several hours outside, five days a week. It's been so good for my soul.

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  6. Oh yes! I love a good hike, or even a walk on the paths around our athletic park in town. Cobwebs clear and I often gain much a needed perspective alignment. Hoping the rain clears today so that I can get out and take a walk! :)

    Have a wonderful week,
    Karen

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  7. Gorgeous pictures and post! I had to stare at them, especially the waterfall. Wow!

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  8. I love the outdoors! We hike, bird, and fish as often as we can get away.

    Love your pictures.

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  9. Yes! Getting away from the "routine" and being in a space that is bigger than little me totally revives me and puts my life into perspective. It's not about the day to day stuff...it's much bigger than that.

    Cute pictures! Glad you're back and feeling like YOU! :)

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  10. This is such a moving tribute to your dad. I know what you mean--my dad taught me so much just walking through our woods. I'm keeping the tradition alive by taking our kids to local parks and pointing out the signs of nature. I always want them to be excited about the outdoors.

    P.S. Your girls are SO beautiful!

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  11. Yes, it certainly does! A walk in th woods makes me feel like I'm coming home again. :)

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  12. The outdoors doesn't clear my head per se, however, it does make me focus on God's beauty, creativity, and how much He loves us. Your pictures are great!

    tiannamae.blogspot.com

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  13. I love writing outdoors, too. And good for you for sharing the wonders of nature with your kids, as your dad showed them to you. :)

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  14. Only when I garden - when I plant, weed, or just nurture my plants.

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  15. Wendy, I love the outdoors. God's nature speaks to my spirit. If only those ole mosquitos weren't out there....

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  16. Thanks for the post. I was also away from the "world" so-to-speak for four days and I felt a returning back to myself as well.

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  17. Love this, Wendy! You made me want to go hiking again. It's been too long (since before babies). I could smell the pine through my computer. :)

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  18. I love the beauty that is your blog. Not only your words, but you brought your hike with you to share. The pictures are gorgeous!

    I'm not an outdoorsy person (allergic to too much), but I do find calm and peace by looking at all the beauty the outdoors has to offer sans bugs and pollen. :)

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  19. Such peace here. So glad you had a chance to get away, and clear the cobwebs.

    Yes, the outdoors does the same for me. My mind-clearing happens on the front-end of a Lund fishing boat. I don't care if I catch a fish. I just like to chill.

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  20. OH, yes. Just this morning I sat on the steps of our church building and gazed across fields of knee-high corn rows, greening in the summer sun. It settled my soul.

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  21. What a beautiful setting. Isn't it wonderful how parents can give us these gifts we carry with us and can carry on to our children even if they don't remember, we're keeping their gifts alive.

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  22. Oh yes it does! WHen my grandson visited this spring we spent hours watching our trees, and the creatures that ran around them and the sounds of the wind blowing through.

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  23. Nice! I need the beach, the salty air, the sand between my toes. =) It's nature at its zenith.

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