To wander. To explore, travel, experience. It brings me life. I wander through forest, down ravines, across meadows, along beaches, over rocks and logs, scramble up bluffs. If I’m outside, I’m happy. So naturally my kids were going to love the outdoors as well. But with a wonderful husband that doesn’t particularly enjoy being outside I wasn’t sure how much I could accomplish.
I dragged them camping and spent summer days playing in the creek with them. But it was a June day in 2006 hiking in the Gila National Forest that I caught a glimpse of what could be. I had dragged the family camping in New Mexico and the four of us were hiking. After a few hours my 10 year daughter was hot and tired and wanted to turn back. My husband, feeling the same, quickly volunteered to go with her. But my six year old son was having a great time. So the two of us continued. Nathan never complained, never slowed, and was loving every moment. We turned back only when we were down to half our water…he could have gone on forever. It hit me. This kid has the gene. The wanderlust gene. The love of the outdoors. Maybe I was onto something. This picture tells a pretty accurate story of that hike in ’06.
As Walt Whitman wrote, “You must travel it for yourself.“