Not all those who wander are lost. ~ J.R.R. Tolkien
Every week I get out of my routine and head into the great outdoors for a photo hike. Living in the Florida Panhandle gives me the option of beach or woods, and sometimes even a combination of both. On any given Saturday, it’s not unusual for me to walk close to 10 miles, snapping photos and communing with nature.
Now, that the weather is turning cooler and the days shorter, it’s even more important to me to continue with these hikes. Often, they are the only days I get out of the house for anything other than grocery shopping or errand running.
The hours I get to amble along, a soundtrack provided by my trusty smartphone, are my time to unwind, to clear my mind of the minutia that clogs my daily life, and to breath in the salty air.
There have been times, when I thought I wouldn’t be able to take my photo hike, that I was brought to the brink of tears… so needful of this time to myself.
I have invited a few friends to join me, even my husband, but it wasn’t the same.
No explanation is enough to make them understand what a gift we are given. The freedom to just be, to bask in the sunshine and fresh air. To dance along the trail to music only we hear, to laugh at the antics of tiny pipers trying not to let their feet get wet in the breaking surf, to feel the stress and anxiety filter out through our skin.
This weekend I will be on the road again, headed who knows where, camera bag packed with replacement batteries and extra lenses, to keep my date with Nature. It’s been a long week, and I have some stress to walk off.
*Photo taken along the dune lakes at Grayton Beach State Park near Santa Rosa Beach, FL. The only editing was to crop and resize for publishing, otherwise, it is straight out of camera.