The Air Out There
Something magical happens when my feet hit the ground out here.... dodging downed trees, moss clothed branches and overgrown brush, I follow the path led by the blanket of fallen autumn leaves. Every shade of red, orange, yellow, brown and green is present.
My phone is on airplane mode, but it doesn't matter either way because my phone already reads "No Service". It's perfectly satisfying.
For the next couple of hours, I have no responsibility but my family, and to just breathe.
I'd be fine just me, some water, and a lip balm to cut the cold, but kids usually require a little more entertainment for the trek.
Our MUST list for a short chilly day hike include:
- WARM DRINKS: Hot cocoa in a Stanley vacuum insulated bottle to keep warm until we're at our stopping point. Stanley products have a lifetime warranty + leak proof technology. Did you know this insulated bottle can keep a beverage hot for about 15 hours, or cold for up to 2.5 days? I mean.... I could go on and on as to why we love our Stanley goods.
- SNACKS: Besides some fruit, crackers, or cheese to snack on, we have recently added in a fun treat! Smash Mallow Chocolate Chip Mint marshmallows, which are gluten free and made with organic sugar and all natural ingredients. I found these in the natural foods section of Fred Meyer. They're not just a treat for the kids' hot cocoa.... Scott and I snacked on quite a few while we sipped from our Stanley flask! (Come on - adults need a warm treat too). They come in all sorts of fun flavor combos, like: Mocha Chip, Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed, Candy Cane, Strawberries & Cream, Cinnamon Churro, Coconut Pineapple, and Root Beer (um, can we say DELICIOUS ROOT BEER FLOAT addition!!)
- BACK PACK: Choose something light weight so the weight of what's inside the pack is what counts - not the pack itself. I love our little yellow Fjallraven Kanken pack which has narrow straps and lays flat against the back for comfort for both adult or child. The quality is durable and great for all weather low impact hikes.
- PEN & PAPER: Our kiddos enjoy talking about the sights and sounds on our hikes. Our oldest is known for bringing along some sketching materials so when we break, she can sketch a picture of her surroundings.
- FOR THE PUP: We clip on a small collapsing food/water dish to our pack and then bring along a few treats. But mostly, Brutus just chews on every stick on our trek. He's perfectly happy. And don't forget the poop bags!
I recently added a tattoo to my forearm as a reminder to just breathe and chill out. God has it all figured out already. Finding my breath outdoors is something I wish I did more often. I'm learning to make space for the things that don't require much of my energy, finances, or time outside of my family. The beauty of the air out there is that it gives back. It doesn't make me depressed or anxious. Rather, it gives me life! The daily distractions are on hold and our eyes are fixated on God's creations that surrounds, where it feels like there's no beginning or end. Out there, there's no one barking orders or shaming us for not working hard enough or being good enough. It doesn't judge, it does not put down, it does not disappoint. It restores and refreshes. It offers peace of mind. It reminds us to just breathe in, and say IT. IS. WELL.