Where does your soul recharge?

sashauphighI’ve been going through some pretty intense personal stuff over the last few weeks (just when I wrote a post about being happy with the here and now…!), which is why I’ve been away from blogging. This matter has been using up pretty much all of my emotional energy, and lots fell by the wayside. Kids were on “the emergency plan” – you know the one: you wake up with the world’s worst head cold (or some other issue that prevents you from being any sort of engaged or effective parent) and decide that the kids will be watching movies all day, eating hot dogs and anything else they can stick in the microwave themselves, you will bring the potato chips out of your husband’s secret stash at some point during the day and offer it to the children for a few moments of peace, and you will try to stay alert enough to ensure nobody gets injured. Yeah, it’s been kind of like that.

Well, over the last few days things have settled down for me and I’ve felt like getting back in the game. There has been lots of “down on the floor” time with the kids, lots of answering “yes” to their “mama, can you play with me?” calls, and of course planning to get out in the world again. So this past Friday we had a playdate with a relatively new family we are becoming friends with, and it was fantastic. Not only did the kids have a great time but it was the boost my soul really needed.

We went for a hike in a local park. It’s actually a huge park connected to a conservation reserve, with a suspension bridge and an Ecology Centre with many interactive displays for the kids. A typical day there starts with a hike – we walked the kilometre or so to the local waterfall/deep pools area where there is a small rocky beach. The kids had a great time exploring the forest streams…


…climbing on the rocks…


…throwing stones into the crystal-clear green water…


…listening to the river…


…and many other fun things. Me and the other mama relaxed, chatted, and ate our picnic. She’s a nice person and the fact that her kids and mine get along so well is always a plus.

There were many restorative things about that day. Being with adult friends is great, especially new ones. She recently suffered some family losses and I did many years ago – we didn’t talk too much about that but it reminded me to put things in perspective when Life gets challenging. It is also great to see children excited, curious, and exploring the way they should be. In the forest there is nothing they can’t touch, throw, break, take apart, step on, jump off, etc…its their natural environment, for sure. These kids are homelearners like us, in fact the older boy and Daughter share the same Learning Consultant. He has a keen interest in the natural sciences as well and it was just delightful to see them in their element. The mama and I definitely agreed that its days like this that make you feel so fortunate to be a homelearner.

But on top of all that, being in the forest is what really renews my soul. When my spirit needs a lift, all I have to do is get out in the woods and I feel recharged again. I am not a religious person at all, but when I am out in the forest it is the closest thing to a spiritual experience for me. My soul literally feels lifted, my mind clears and my mood improves tremendously. A long time ago, a group of us mamas had a chat online about which was better: city life or country life. One of them said that it really depended on where your soul found its energy. Like after a long day where do you need to go – to your quiet place in the country? Or back to civilization? I really liked that way of asking the question. For me, the answer is definitely the forest.

The forest, happy children, great company, beautiful weather…what more could anybody want?


Categories: a day in the life, learning is fun, natural learning, socialization | Leave a comment

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