If you have been following my blog for the past few months, you have probably read numerous statements about my love for the outdoors and my urging others to get outdoors, now that spring has arrived.
My tree hugging ways started in childhood. Growing up in New York’s Bronx and Queens counties was great for me. There were still neighborhoods back then. I mean, everyone new each other, spoke to each other and shared with other. Although I experienced my share of childhood trauma (bed wetting, bullies, getting stitches, romantic rejection, etc.), for the most part it was pretty good.
Each summer and some fall weekends my mother would take me and my siblings to spend time with friends in upstate New York. To this day, I can see the open land and forest, the streams and small ponds on the property. My siblings and I would run wild on the land. I remember just lying face up on the ground and staring into blue sky. Witnessing the daytime zodiac in the shapes of the clouds.
Finding salamanders, frogs, turtles and butterflies in what would feel like my own private petting zoo. And hide and seek in the wooded area around the main house was breathtaking, literally. I loved those trips away from the city.
I think about my mother every time I enter the wilderness. Every time I smell pine cones, stagnant ponds and feel fall winds, her face, voice and the places we visited returns to me.
I read a quote today on Twitter that said: The best gift a mother can receive on Mothers Day is Happy Children. These trips taught me how simple it is to be happy. Without having everything I want and without everything always going my way. These experiences introduced me to a part of myself that was happy discovering and being with “What Is.”
Thank you Ma, for opening the way, for me to be me. This is the greatest gift I have ever received. May my happiness be my gift to you.