Time to Go Camping!
August always seems to be the time of cramming in the last adventures before school starts and the warmth of summer ends. One more bike ride for ice cream, more picnics and beach days, or the last camping trip. Before the fall season hits and the slower days of summer fade, we seem to try to do it all. But what if we put off the sense of urgency to finish the summer with a bang? What if we ease into fall this year and savor this last month of summer?
I remember when it wasn't all that long ago that globally we all slowed down, didn't travel, and got into nature more often. Some aspects haven't changed since the pandemic, but unfortunately the busy schedule and hectic pace has returned for some of us.
Maybe it's time to slow down again and reconnect with ourselves and our families in nature. The peace of the woods, the crackle of a fire, the call of birds as you sip your morning coffee sound pretty good to me. I love the smell of pine and cedar as you hike a path or the delight in finding wild berries to eat along the trail.
I thinking camping away from home forces us to slow down and enjoy time differently than when we are home. Home improvement projects, work, and our laptops can't suck us in and fill up our time when we unplug away from home. We become more grounded when we connect with nature, engaging our senses and being fully present in the moment. We breathe deeply when were sounded by nature, calming our minds.
A few years ago, I was introduced to the Japanese practice of forest bathing. This practice, known as shinrin-yoku, involves immersing yourself in a forest environment, encouraging mindfulness, relaxation, and stress reduction. I think they are on to something significant and I hope to get away camping to do just that.