I wonder sometimes why it took me so long to get back into camping. I camped with my family as a child every summer at Inks Lake State Park. For a week we would live outside. I loved exploring. I loved the water, sitting under a tree or by the water, catching frogs and turtles, or just watching and taking it all in. I always made new friends. Everything was better outside, the food was better, the games were more fun, reading, sleeping, you name it. People are better outside, too.
I knew this as a child. Get home from school, go outside. Bored, go outside. Angry, go outside. Sad, go outside. Lonely, go outside. When my girls were babies, if they wouldn’t stop crying and I had tried everything else, I would take them outside. Most of the time it worked like magic. They would calm down, open their eyes and look around. I’m like that, too. When I go outside, I feel better. There is something about being a part of nature that feeds my soul and renews my spirit. I feel more spiritually connected when I’m camping than at any other time. The more I separate myself from nature, the more anxious, sad and fearful I become. Going outside changes all of that. Suddenly anything feels possible and I am part of something bigger, more meaningful. I am connected, peaceful, and happy.
So I’m trying to remember all the wisdom I held as a child and forgot when I became an adult, but this one is pretty simple. When life gets too overwhelming, if I’m feeling unbalanced, anxious, or disconnected, the last thing I need to do is surround myself with four walls. All I really need to do is go outside.