It all started with a mandatory sit spot in mid-March - just one week into physical distancing. We hiked back to the bush at my childhood farm. When we reached the sugar shack ruins, I rang the singing bowl three times. A beginning, an offering.
We set out, each in our own direction, then settled in.
My children were far from me, but I could see that they’d sunk into quiet. Even the dogs planted their bums, looking around, sniffing the air, aware, still.
Inhale, exhale. Thoughts expand, thoughts cease.
I needed this forest quiet - a respite from my frenetic thought life and from city life where I was starting to feel watched, passing faces on sidewalks that looked scared, unsure, tentative.
Minutes flew past and after half an hour I reluctantly rang the bowl.
They bubbled questions to me on the walk back:
Our bush times have continued over the past weeks. In mid-March, I thought we were looking at a stretch of three weeks together, and it seemed like we needed some activities that would take us out of our heads. Our forest times have done that for us.
Since then, they have evolved to include other activities too: journalling, whittling, photography, building a fairy house. We’re experimenting with following our intuition - asking ourselves “what does my mind and body need/want to do in the forest today?” and then going from there.
A re-fresh and a re-set, freeing our minds to rest.
Hammers, Huge Swings, and the Freedom to Play