Go out into the woods, child, go out. Let your feet carry you on the worn path behind the house, down to the marshy shore of the lake.
Go out into the woods, child, go out. Wander into the dense tree cover, trail your hand over the bark of an adolescent maple tree, and find your shelter among the roots and branches.
Go out into the woods, child, go out. Splash through the puddles that pool at the base of the valley and listen to the call of the Sandhill crane in the fields as it stands at attention amidst the dying autumn crops.
Go out into the woods, child, go out. Lay down in the hay-field and let your gaze drift with the passing clouds as the leaves rustle their lullabies.
Go out into the woods, child, go out. Race through the blazing midday light, and once you are tired, pick up a stone and let your hand fit its shape to the smooth sun-warmed surface.
Go out into the woods, child, go out. Rest in the shade of an old oak tree and feel the wisdom and strength of deep roots and patience fill you up with something you didn’t know was missing.
Go out into the woods, child. Go out.
I watched a robin explore one of our crab apple trees yesterday afternoon. He hopped from bare branch to bare branch, stopping now and then to poke at old, dried-up crabapples with his beak. At one point he seemed to look right at me, as if he were making sure I noticed his presence. I wasn’t sure how to respond.
Robins usually don’t come back to this area of Minnesota until at least the end of March, though last year we saw one on February 18th, the same day the seasonal ‘spring melt’ stream ran — unseasonably early. Yesterday was February 16th, so it seems this trend of early melting will continue for another season. The snow is almost gone after a few days of 40 degrees, and today it’s 50. Tomorrow it is projected to be 55, and Sunday, 57. Winter as I remember it just doesn’t seem to happen anymore, and this early warmth doesn’t feel normal.
Continue reading “The Reality I’m In”
Henry David Thoreau once wrote the words, “In wildness is the preservation of the world.” Though Thoreau lived in his cabin on the shores of Walden Pond many years ago, those words hold a deep truth. Wildness can mean so many different things to so many different people, but whatever it means to myriad humans across the globe, I have found embracing wildness to provide healing, inspiration, introspection and reason to explore. I have found wildness to be a foundation from which to do my work in the world, and I have found wildness to drive my choices as I tap into the potential of life on this beautiful earth. I have found wildness reason to cultivate community and exist in the world in a way that aligns with beauty and truth.
Here are 10 more reasons to embrace wildness, in all its forms, in the months to come. Because you just never know how making some little changes to your way of being might contribute to the healing of the planet. Continue reading “Why To Embrace Wildness”
You might already be aware of the fact that work takes up a lot of time for a large number of people in modern culture.You may even be one of those folks who feels like they spend more time at the office or behind the till or at the wheel or tapping on a keyboard than is ideal for human health and happiness. And it’s also likely that you, or someone you know, are one of those folks who just doesn’t see a realistic way to do things differently right now. Maybe there’s a job change in your future, maybe you’ll move to a yurt in the Andes or maybe you’ll figure out how to finance a simple lifestyle without living the nine to five. But for many of us, there are school loans to pay, a mortgage with which to keep up, kids to care for and cars to upkeep. I’m guessing leaving it all behind to move to a cabin in the woods sounds fabulous to many reading these words….but for a lot of people, it’s just not going to happen in the next week, or month or year. Maybe it will. Maybe tomorrow will bring a shift that will allow our ideal situation to come closer into being. This post isn’t about giving up on trying to live in a way that requires less money, resources or big life changes. But it is a post about what you can do right now to feel just a tad bit more wild in your day to day. Continue reading “5 Ways to Increase the Wildness of Your Workday”
Have you ever been trail running before? Laced up some shoes, checked out a map or trail sign, and jogged off into the woods on a single track trail, or through a field, or into the foothills at the base of the mountains? You don’t have to be a great runner to do this, and in fact, you can even walk up all the hills if you want to. Running through scenery that makes the Runner’s World “Rave Run” page is awesome, but certainly not required for a successful experience – you can just jog through the city park or a local nature preserve if that’s your best access to a bit of wilderness. The point is to move your body outside over terrain that causes you to take notice, terrain that’s not man-made, and terrain that invites you to take on a challenge and drink in the surroundings at the same time. It’s a great workout, sure, but even more so, it’s a way to connect with the wild and free parts of yourself that sometimes get left behind in a modern life. And it can teach you some things.
Continue reading “Lessons from the Trail”
It’s been overcast and rainy for the last six days here in Minnesota. Today I went outside shortly after waking to stand on the dock. I could hear the resident beaver chomping on some old lily pads as he poked around in the reeds, and the robins that are still here, even though it’s December, were chirping in the bare tree branches. A bright green kayak was resting on the neighbor’s dock, now put away for the winter months, and a hawk circled far above my head, piercing the air once with its call. The lake was utterly still, and the reflection of the skeleton trees along the shoreline stared back at me like a challenge to discern what is real and what is an illusion. Continue reading “These Grey Days”
It happens every year in many parts of the world. The days get shorter, the gardens get tilled under, the lawnmower goes into storage. Heavy coats and hats and sweaters get pulled out of storage, and chili starts sounding good again. Frost appears in the morning grass where dew used to be, and you can see your breath when you walk around the block. And then it snows. Winter is coming.
Granted, not every place on the earth sees harsh winter weather, but plenty of places have their fair share of cold and wind and dark.Daylight in the northern hemisphere wanes as the winter solstice approaches, and sometimes if we aren’t careful, whole days can go by without feeling any sun – however cold it might be – on our faces. Cabin fever sets in, and we start to wait for spring.
But…..maybe it doesn’t have to be that way. What if we could embrace whatever Mother Nature decides to dole out and made getting outside a priority no matter how cold or wet or snowy or dark it gets? I think it’s worth it to give old man winter a little love. Because a whole season with no natural light and letting a little cold weather keep us inside? Every year? No way, man. No. Way. Life’s too good to spend it waiting for summer. Continue reading “5 Ways to Fall in Love With Winter”