by Sarah Mowry
The photo I will remember from my hike last week is of Zoe (7 months) sitting in a meadow of wildflowers. It captures her new toothy grin, her prowess at being upright, and, of course, the flowers.
I’ll have to try hard to remember it though, because the reality is the camera didn’t make on the hike. I thought about it, but alas wasn’t sure how it would fit in the backpack along with the baby paraphernalia (diapers, mushed baby food, sunscreen etc.). Besides, how was I going to dig it out from the backpack without taking Zoe off my back?
Babyland (even second babyland) is still a daunting place to live some days. While I have no fear of dragging the baby off into the woods, I simply seem to have no time for such pursuits. I’ve been aching all summer to get out and see the wildflowers—I mean aching. All I get is daily reports from Land Trust volunteers detailing the wonders of flowers here or there.
So, last Friday I took a hell-or-high-water approach and declared it “mama’s day off” and went hiking up to Canyon Creek Meadows. Life was simplified with just one kiddo and we managed to do the whole 4 mile hike which mostly happy burbles from the backpack.
While I was cheered in my endeavor by fellow hikers: ”Ahhh, the next generation of land stewards getting exposed early,” or ”nice work mama!”….as Sarah and screaming Zoe hightailed it down the path, the real cheer and pause came from the wild itself. Being outside reminded me that babyland is temporary and that the beauty and solace I find outdoors will still be there when I exit.
Most of all it reminded me that it is worth taking the time to pause and head outside. It may be without the camera, but it will be a soul healing hike to continue life’s adventure.