Exploring the forest with my kids is probably one of my favourite things to do. But there is something magical and life-giving about using my child-free Thursdays to get out in the forest alone. To listen to the wind in the trees, the birds hiding in the bushes, and my own breathing as I get to carry a brisk pace. Without little legs and imaginative meanderings, I get to raise my heart-rate and pound out some stress.
Today’s walk was sticking to the made paths, as my footwear wasn’t prepared for the aftermath of last night’s rain, but I hate to stay on predictable, easy paths. My soul yearns to look around hidden bends, follow literal rabbit trails, and defy imposed limitations. My, that minor track which led away from dry gravel was a challenge! I needed to focus on every step over sticky mud and slippery leaves. I needed to slow down.
Deviating from the predictable and easy is where true living lies. But it was a timely reminder that you’ll never find your footing if you’re expecting it to be as easy as the previous well-worn, familiar path. Life is challenging and stressful in these times, on top of parenting, on top of supporting my kids’ learning, on top of family health challenges, on top of, on top of…..
But in slowing down, showing ourselves grace, taking our time over each tentative step, we will keep moving forward, and enjoying our walk through the trees.