Right outside my front door, the local landscape allows me lots of opportunity to explore. I live in a small hamlet community where there is nothing really available to keep me entertained or preoccupied socially. There is no restaurant, bookstore, art nook, shopping center, or even enough people to gather with for more than a greeting and a snippet of local news. Not for miles around.
Life “in the country” forces a person to garner the art of both self sufficiency and entertainment. It requires a lot of imagination, self direction and learning how to use all sorts of tools … for a wide variety of applications. Simply taking a drive down a dirt road by myself necessitates an understanding of not only how to utilize a 4-wheel drive but how to change a tire, stay warm and dry, hydrated, fed, protect myself from bugs and the various elements. I keep an inventory of all kinds of tools loaded in my car on a permanent basis simply to have them available in case the need should arise. I mean, every woman needs a pocket knife … and how about a small hatchet, folding shovel, chair, binoculars, plant press, emergency blankets and energy bars, first aid kit, fishing tackle (both fly and bait), field vest, reference books for birds and plants, flashlight, headlamp, walking sticks, bug dope, sketching materials, field notebook and lots of water. Everything is tucked away in a large Tupperware box in the trunk and a pack in the passenger seat. Spending so much time outside has taught me to prepare for whatever I might encounter when alone.
Preparation for being outside is one thing, but no one taught me how to be alone with Myself. Just me, myself and I. It is interesting to observe the amount of chatter and emotional “stuff” I carry around in my head on any given day, especially when I am alone. Between the moments of foraging medicinal and culinary plants, observing birds and animals, or simply watching clouds and weather I am at times caught in memories and wounded emotions. I am like anyone and everyone else who has had the opportunity to grow to a ripe old age. I have a herstory a mile long from having lived at least 595,680+ hours so far on this planet. Lots has happened, and not happened. The good, the bad and the ugly. My life choices have colored how I see and interpret this wide World, and how I see and interpret myself. When alone with Nature, I have learned that breathing, simple breathing allows me to release things that no longer serve me, to embrace the Goodness I have received and brings me into the Present moment.
The road conditions and their surroundings always change. ALWAYS. From one moment to the next … one hour, one day, a week. Each season brings changes in the cycles of all kinds of critters and in the cycles of my own psyche and Heart. Be prepared to Breathe … a recommended tool for wherever you find yourself. Grab a bar of Gratitude to snack on followed by a swig of Thanksgiving. Tools I have found essential when bumping down dirt roads through the landscapes of Life. Blessings to All …