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?