It was a still day today - and gloriously sunny. Living in the Pacific Northwest, I have come to really appreciate and be grateful for the sunny days as they come infrequently between deluges of precipitation in the form of sleet, hail, rain and snow.
As I stopped to listen, smell and breathe in the moment on my walk, I heard the sound of wind rustle through the trees and I was transported back to a memory of when I was about nine years old. I could smell and envision the windy point at which we - my dad, brother and myself - were camped. I remember the feeling - it was freeing and ...  I reveled in the moment and allowed myself to go there and be with the sensations. When I came back to the breath and the present moment I thought about how memories are stored in the body and once again, was amazed by the complexity of human experience. I thought about my father and how grateful I am that he shared his love of the natural world by taking us on week long canoe trips in Algonquin Park. He imprinted me with wonderful memories, stored in my body, and I have no idea just how these experiences have inscribed who I am and impacted my decisions and choices in life...who I am today. I began to think about what memories I am imprinting on my daughter. It seems like we are always going somewhere and doing something. Even when we are hiking it is with a purpose - to get around the trail or reach the top of the mountain. What about just going and being in the space - stopping to explore, get lost, wonder, play, sense, imagine?
When I read this bit about a fifth grader - her response to a question asking to describe her relationship with nature - a tear came to my eye:
“’When I’m in the woods, I feel like I’m in my mother’s shoes’. ‘It’s so peaceful out there and the air smells so good. For me, it’s completely different there’, she said. ‘It’s your own time, sometimes I go there when I’m mad - and then, just with the peacefulness, I’m better. I can come back home happy, and my mom doesn’t even know why’. She paused. ‘I had a place. There was a big waterfall and a creek on one side of it. I’d dug a big hole there, and sometimes I’d take a tent back there, or a blanket, and just lay down in the hole, and look up at the trees and sky. Sometimes I’d fall asleep back in there. I just felt free; it was like my place, and I could do what I wanted, with nobody to stop me. I used to go down there almost every day.’ The young poet’s face flushed. Her voice thickened. ‘And then they just cut the woods down. It was like they cut down a part of me’” (Louv, 2009, p. 68).