A Hike with Mike

Sight, smell, sounds; three of five senses I perhaps take for granted on a daily basis but when brought to acute attention serve to elevate a sense of presence and awareness. The mindful walk that I was fortunate to enjoy with the Spirit of the Land class revealed to me that when we carry out daily practices mindfully (i.e walking) –through giving acknowledgement to what we see, smell, and hear– our place in the world only depends on what is with us at that moment.

Upon discussing the apparent kiss of fall and current shift in seasons, I could not help but notice that little was spoken of the season that follows autumn, which in other conversations has followed suit. While we remained on the topic of the changing colours of the leaves, the musky smell of the forest bottom, and the crisp temperature that accompanies the fall of evening, no mention was made of the signification this has for a potential long, cold winter to come. In remaining mindful, and thus present in the moment, negative thoughts of this winter had not even emerged, but rather appreciation and gratitude were shared among the group.

I walked away from our group this evening feeling more connected to those I shared these moments with, and to the valley located so close to our campus. Spending time in nature with the intention of being fully present I believe has the potential to heal our spirit, collectively and individually, as we become better able to enjoy the moments we have for just what they are.