July 07, 2020 3 min read

There’s something to be said about the sense of calm that washes over us when we step outside. So often we hear to “look within yourself”; reflect inwards for answers to problems and questions. No sooner than we pursue this method do we realize we can’t possibly have all the answers, and we begin to ask ourselves “what’s wrong with me” and “why can’t I understand”?
So we seek out answers in other places, self-help books, friends, family and the like. The problem with these sources is they’re conflicting. Oftentimes, these sources provide answers founded on opinion, and the foundation of opinion is a weak one. 
When seeking answers by seeking advice from others, we overlook the subtle and silent responses that lie all around us. The answers, or perhaps symbolic absence of them, hang in the air. We walk below them, step atop them, and brush past them. Nature provides us with fundamental truths that translate as answers, and even when such cannot be extracted from it, that in itself is symbolic that there are some questions we can’t possibly have the answers to. We live under the false belief that we as human beings are superior and complex; therefore, what answers could something as simple as nature have to offer our complicated and multilayered problems and questions? What many fail to realize is the intertwined connections lying within the forests, deserts, icy landscapes, and even our own backyards. So the question begs to be asked, what answers lie right outside your door?
From nature we learn of perseverance. From nature we learn the acceptance of change, or absence of, and the repercussions that follow. From nature we learn patience. From nature we learn more about the fundamentals of life from an unbiased perspective no human can provide. As experienced by plants and animals, what happens, happens and there are only two options, to succumb or to overcome. In many ways, we are as out of control of our circumstances as a plant. We learn how to be humble, as the beauty of the mountains and waterfalls and hidden streams never ask for attention, and even still attract it effortlessly. The ending and beginning of the seasons remind us that our time is limited, and with the end of one life begins another.
Isn’t it comforting to be reminded in such a subtle way of our impermanence? The lesson, to live life deliberately. Time is not to be taken for granted. 
Many of the answers you seek are ripe for the taking in uncommon and unexpected places. As we lie on our backs beneath the shade of the trees, we become simpler. Our troubles, concerns, stresses, and uncertainties dissolve at the sight of waving branches above us that ride on a soft breeze. In these trees lie simple answers. Simple comforts that we don’t have to have all the answers, but that those we can contrive from our surroundings are enough.
Wildway Reminder: If you’re heading to soak in the outdoors at your local park, keep these tips in mind to respect others and the environment:
  • Know before you go - check to see if the park you’re heading to is open, and if not, have a plan B.
  • Practice social distancing - explore with your immediate household and wear a face mask if required. Stay home if you feel sick.
  • Adventure safely - take it slow and be safe wherever you wander as rescue operations and emergency facilities are already strained.
  • Leave no trace - Always respect the land you love to explore by packing out the trash you bring in. Leave your environment better than you found it.

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