We are still here. It has been a very rough winter and both my sister and I have found that life has, well, we’ve been away.
I’ve learned some things about myself over the past few months. I’ve learned that when I grieve, I lose the ability to read, write, communicate, concentrate… I basically become a petrified tree, nothing gets in and nothing comes out. So last week, my heavy door slipped open just a sliver and I peeked out. I thought, well since I can’t concentrate enough to read a book maybe I’ll try a podcast. This, by the way, was a side-benefit to dropping an iPad and having to buy a new one and set it all up again.
So when I have to think of a word, to search for all that is me, the first word that always comes to mind is “explore.” So this led me to a podcast called “She Explores.” Hmmm, sounds pretty fitting.
I listened to Gale Straub’s first podcast, then I skipped to her most recent. The first, was about Fear. I felt like I could hear it in her voice and I felt immediately invested. I mean, here is someone putting herself out there – being vulnerable – not knowing what would happen… I loved it and I immediately knew I wanted to support her. Then I listened to the most recent podcast, which I will say out loud has brought me to my big heavy door, opened it, and now I am standing in the threshold looking out. It is called “A Safe Space – Mental Health and the Outdoors.” More on this in in a minute.
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about this summer, and camping. We bought the travel trailer last fall, to spend this year traveling with our aging dogs instead of leaving them behind while we globe-trotted, and as you know, one of them got very sick. That was my last post, and a couple of monthts later, we lost Griffin to canine cancer. This is part of why this winter has been so painful. He loved the camper and in his last days, he wouldn’t go in at night until we walked over to it and wished it goodnight. ❤️ His last day was spent inside of it and I really haven’t been back inside since. So over the winter, I’ve stood and looked at it and wondered if I’ll be able to find that feeling again, of wanting to just take off in it. In the past few weeks, I am happy to say that I have. I have found myself wanting to drop everything and go, to just get lost in the woods and stop there. Campfires, the stars… I started feeling it again.
So this podcast episode talks about how the outdoors heals and allows the catharsis we need in times like this. It is fascinating and I feel like now, I know I’m going to be okay. It’s time to go outside and let myself heal. I mentioned that losing Griffin was just part of the big picture, well, this has been, and is going to continue to be a very difficult year for us and I think my heart is giving me this chance to get some strength back.
I hope you give the podcast a try.