Weekend in the Woods

Another weekend in the woods for the books… but this one was different.

I usually run to the woods to immerse myself in the indulgence of solitude, feeling more like myself in the dance of trees. I find peace in the quiet of being alone and charging my soul’s battery, but comradery is something that charges my heart. I can easily be alone for long periods of time, and peek out from the warm nest that I’ve built to join other humans in common joys. This weekend I decided to head North in Ontario to meet other women who like to spend time in the woods too. That contentedness with simply being outdoors no matter the weather, how many layers you have to put on, or how many kilometers you have to drive to get there. I thought that perhaps I was alone to delight in grounding feet one at a time through winding trails under pine canopies. Turns out that finding other people with common interests can be completely heartwarming.

As a child, knowing your interests and what brings you joy comes naturally. You don’t think of responsibilities or have emotional blocks, you just run toward what will make you smile. As I’ve aged, I can sometimes forget why I’m doing something or what actions would bring me joy. As adults, our essence can get lost in the shuffle of life because of responsibility. I’ve learned that just figuring out what you like spending your time doing, can be a challenge of its own – but eternally worth it. It’s a way to reconnect with that young self, the one who didn’t ask questions and just acted on joy. For me, this was (and is) going outside on an adventure.

If I could give one piece of advice to being an adult and engaging in youthful living, it’s this:

  1. Figure out what you like doing when no one is watching, and do it.
  2. Find others who like to do it too, and participate.

Over the weekend, the beauty of snow was at its peak giving us Winter’s greatest gifts. The kind that makes bundling up and rosy cheeks a memory to keep. Those perfect snowflakes swimming through cool crisp air met us below, and the crunching of packed white glow kept our feet moving. This seasonal pleasure is just outside my door – waiting for me to rest from a weekend of meeting strangers to hike in the woods, belly laughs, a winter campfire, delicious family-style meals, sleeping in bunk beds, new instant friends, and playing like a kid.

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