Dirty boots, at the end of a weekend there is nothing like them. A good dusting of sand, mud, or wet gritty leaves is a reward and reminder that we did something meaningful and different from the everyday. It’s not just that we went adventuring in our backyard. No, at the end of a long week mucking about the trails helps us to disconnect from the everyday and reconnect to an inherent and elemental part of ourselves.
Escaping into nature, into the sounds of rushing water, rustling leaves, and the chorus of song birds for a few hours is a vacation to our senses and nervous system. Immersing ourselves in nature takes us away from those busy, worried thoughts that tend to plague us and allows us to just BE. Because moving from stone to stone, grasping open branches to balance our stride while navigating a new direction requires a state of being fully and truly present.
In a way, the spontaneous experience of clambering up rocky trails not only helps us to be present, and attain those beautiful dirty boots, the playfulness we find there is a kin to being a kid again and playing in some woody backyard unburdened by the responsibilities that come with maturity. Nature is our grown-up playground and going home with those dirty boots is our reward, our improved sense of self and an invitation of, where to next?
May the Force (of Nature) Be With You, Michele