Happy Trails

It’s amazing what we take for granted in our everyday life. The Thanksgiving long weekend gave me pause to remember what I already knew: I live in a beautiful place. I am surrounded by incredible geography, rich history, beautiful views, and it’s all accessible to me at any time. I just need to seek it out. Nature is my therapist. It’s time I booked some sessions.

(Full disclosure: Thanksgiving also reminded me that just because the turkey gravy is gluten free doesn’t mean I should eat it by the spoonful. What? Like you’ve never thought about it.)

Like many of you, I work in an office all day which means my backside is stuffed in a chair from morning until night.

So, while I am well aware that I need to be more physically active, my email inbox and the whole need for employment thing is seriously cramping my style (also my legs). I need to get outside more often. I need to explore. Be active. Breathe in fresh air. Expand my horizons and my stretch pants more by action than by bloating.

Actually, I was in my stretch pants and had just finished putting a feast in the oven when it struck me that I had one hour before everything would be ready for dinner, so no point starting some household chore (as if).

But an hour was just enough time to go for a walk.  That’s right, I thought of exercise without anyone’s prompting. It happens.

But I needed witnesses. I pulled the teenage sloths from the darkness of their bedroom caves and insisted they join me on an epic journey. We have different ideas of what makes a journey epic, so to entice them, I encouraged them to bring their mobiles phones, because this generation loves to take photos and tell everyone everything about what they’re doing every minute they are doing it, so why not get photographic proof that I was hiking outside.

We headed out to explore the Aboyne Trail, across from the Wellington County Museum.

Blue sky. Warm sun on my face. Leaves turning. The smell of the forest. A carpet of fresh earth and pine needles on the ground. Free therapy. In amongst the trees you can let the baggage of a busy mind drop to the forest floor to become virtual compost; the waste of a past you can’t change, full of the nutrients of powerful lessons learned and the richness to grow renewed. Also, you can trip, so watch your step.

Of course, if you walk by me on the trails you will not see a woman in deep contemplation, unless I have to climb a hill, which is not a pretty sight. Instead, you will see a woman who forgot to dress to be seen out in public, sweating and red faced, borderline hyperventilating because she ate the gluten free gravy with a spoon.

Just walk by. I’m okay. Nature is my happy place.

The long weekend reminded me of what I already know: slow down. Get outside of your house. Get outside of your head.

Just be grateful for where you are in your life right now, even if it’s not quite where you expected to be. Make time. Create moments. Shut out the noise and breathe in the possibility. Appreciate the simple things, the ones that cost you nothing.

Happy trails.


Kelly Waterhouse