In my 20’s, spending time outside became an important element to finding happiness, peace, and wholeness. Climbing taught me how to be fully present. Mountain biking restored the giddiness from my youth. Lunches on summits filled me with peace. Skiing helped me relearn how to be playful. Trail running brought clarity to challenges I was working through. Hiking taught me perseverance. I learned to nurture my soul by spending time in nature.
As a mother, nurturing my son, Huck, brings the greatest joy and purpose to my life. Our home and the outdoors are the greatest school rooms for Huck’s development. As we spend time outside together, I hope Mother Nature will nurture his spirit.
I hope the winds blowing through the aspens whisper to my son that he is enough.
I hope sunny afternoons on the trail teach Huck that the world is generally a kind place— and that stormy hikes teach him that he is capable of moving forward when the world is not kind. I hope he learns the sweetness of lightening another’s burdens as he carries extra weight in his pack for a friend. I hope Huck learns the joy of sacrifice when he shares his last granola bar with somebody on the trail who needs it more than him.
I hope scraped knees, broken bones, and sprained ligaments teach Huck to be thoughtful when calculating risk. And that dusting his clothes off after a fall, getting back on the bike, and finishing the ride teaches him to ALWAYS move forward. I hope that reaching the chains after taking a whipper at the crag teaches Huck that success after failure is even sweeter. And that struggle to the summit after the saddle teaches my son to expect to work hard for his gains.
I hope the splendor of a peanut butter sandwich on the trail teaches Huck to value simplicity. I hope that savoring a few drops of water on a hot hike teach him to value his resources— but that sharing those few drops of water with a friend is more satisfying than quenching thirst. I hope observing the thriving life along the banks of a river in the desert teaches my son the importance of nourishing his soul.
I hope the sun’s rays on Huck’s cheekbones on a chilly morning fill him with warmth and love. I hope the aroma of pine fills Huck’s soul with peace, that wildflowers beautify his worldview, and that the calls of birds are the songs he hears when he needs to find solace in a too-loud world. I hope the moments of quiet in the tent before sunrise help my little boy find stillness. That sunsets show Huck that everything works out beautifully at the end of the day. I hope feeling small in the depths of a canyon gives Huck humility and perspective. I hope the views from mountain summits show my son all the grandeur he can become.
I hope spending time in nature teaches my son how to nurture those he meets in life; that he is kind, compassionate, and good.