Stepping Out – tentree

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Stepping Out

Most of us have experienced it; nature feeding our senses. We have finally reached the peak that we have been striving for. The sight, the smell, the sound, the touch; it's all there for the taking. What I have always wondered is how far does one need to go to experience these sensations? Each and every person has their own goals, hopes, and dreams. With that, we all have different expectations of where our journey into nature should take us. Grasslands, thick forest, palm trees by the ocean; it's all in your "back yard", depending on how far you extend it. We go as far as we need to in hopes of avoiding a fruitless adventure and experiencing oneness with nature.

So, how far do you have to go to avoid a fruitless adventure? For starters, let's assume we need to step outside the door. From that point the adventure lies in what you make of your journey from home. A journey is all about small victories pacing your way. The beauty of it all is that you get to decide what your definition of a journey really is. Maybe your journey is being five minutes out of your home community and realizing there are things directly under your nose you've never discovered. Or maybe you need to book a flight and sink yourself deep into the tropics? The journey itself depends on the willing participant. I think the key is not being dissatisfied with results (ever). Each new experience is a small victory, as is each positive relived experience. If you hike a boreal forest in northern Saskatchewan seventeen times before you make it to the taiga in Sweden, that's okay! It's what makes you happy, and what connects you to nature.

How far do you need to go to find that out of body experience, or, a oneness with nature? Oneness meaning "wow". That is the ultimate satisfaction; stepping onto a piece of land and feeling it hit you, "this is something I need to do again, and again". Getting that feeling you've made it there is easy to recognize. I've felt it at Crowsnest Pass and I've felt it in a wheat field on the prairies. The feeling is the same, but it is delivered in many different avenues of nature. How you measure your success at finding these places has a lot to do with where you started. Newness seems to never get old. Still, familiarity holds a place in everyone's heart. The air you breathe from where you stand will determine whether or not you've found that out of body experience.

Garden PathSociety is a crazy breed and the things we do to "get away" are just as hard to define as the things we do to "fit in". How far do you need to go? I don't think there truly is an answer to this question. You can pull out an infinite measuring tape and let it drag behind you, but you'll never be able to mark the spot where you've finished exploring. You might find that place that indulges all of your senses, or completes a journey. That's great, because that's what we're looking for! Deep down though, I think we realize that this thing called nature, our natural environment, is too vast to cap ourselves. What nature offers us is the ability to choose our direction. How far you need to go in that direction is up to you!

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