I have an addiction. When I go too long - more than a month- without a night in the woods I start to twitch. I become depressed and agitated. I need to get my fix. I need to get high.
It's the same satisfaction I get from people-watching at the airport, or sitting on the porch with a glass of wine. It is about having nothing to do and nowhere to be. Relaxed engagement, if you will.
So why does the act of camping make me, and so many others, happy?
Because there is SPACE. The outdoors gives us wide open places to roam and play. No doors to shut us out. No walls to separate us. Just trees and grass, clouds, sun, moon and stars. When we are not confined to a building, a room, a road, or a car we begin to establish our own sense of order and identity. We begin to gain a deeper understanding of our role in the universe.
Because we can UNPLUG. Dedicated time outdoors feels like a hard reset, grounding and restoring the peace and calm to our otherwise hectic lives.When our cellphones are off, our televisions are at home, there are no distractions from the news, from work, or friends or family. This allows us to be in the present moment and become aware of our surroundings- of ourselves, of others and all of the beauty in between: the flames from our campfire, the morning dew on our tent, the sound of the stream, the chirping crickets.
Because we have a PURPOSE. It is in this place of calm that our minds become clear to realize our true selves, our deepest hopes and wildest dreams.With a day on the trail or a night in the woods, expectations are clear and straightforward. You will walk, you will eat, you will drink, you will sleep, you will wake. Your schedule begins to mimic nature's rhythm. You will see that everything around you also has a purpose- from each tree to each tiny insect, it is all equally important in the web of life.
So, it's simple: Let's put ourselves in the outdoors more. Let's deliberately seek out situations that set us up for happiness, when we are left only with the finer things in life: the beauty of nature, the clarity of our own minds, the strength of our bodies and if we are lucky- a few basic tools and the company of loved ones.
Love & Light (and less),