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Spring Growth: Sisterhood and Brotherhood

It almost seemed like I was traveling backwards in time this spring. As the season began I was in South Florida and then made my way up the Eastern Seaboard as the leaves moved from fully formed in the south to the pale green colors of leaves just sprouting on the trees as I reached the coast of Maine, back into cold weather. It was so cold on Memorial Day weekend that the water froze in my RV the morning I left Grand Marais, Minnesota for Isle Royale.

I can feel myself changing on this journey, melting with the seasons. It almost feels on a cellular level, perhaps like the leaves on a spring tree, sprouting anew. I actually enjoy being off the grid. I feel a deep appreciation for how interconnected all of life is now and enjoy the slower pace. I miss Shelby and my friends back in Portland (and the friends I have been able to reconnect with on my trip, and am so grateful for their support along the way!). I look forward to spending time with them in person again.

There is a camaraderie I have felt with my fellow Americans in the National Parks, as well as in the rural communities surrounding them. We have these shared spaces that we are able to visit whenever we want and they bring us together as citizens. Our country is varied and beautiful and so are its people.

And in these places, no one cares about your political affiliation, your stance on the issues of the day or your religion. We’re just in awe together of what we’re witnessing. People are happy to be outside again and I get a sense of joy and playfulness from those I meet on the trails and in the RV parks. It feels like a new day has dawned - post-coronavirus.

This trip has allowed me to regain my faith in Americans and to feel a sense of patriotism for my country which had dwindled a number of years ago. We really have so many similarities, with very different values of course, but we have similar hopes and dreams for our lives.

This feeling of sisterhood and brotherhood with my fellow park travelers that came over me felt like stepping back to a simpler time. I realize we are always moving forward as a society, but I so appreciate the slower pace.

I am wondering now, how am I going to go back? How am I going to leave this sense of freedom and peace that I have discovered for myself out here and go back to a daily routine in an office? Many of you might be struggling with returning to the office too.

I have completely kicked my MSNBC obsessive habit since leaving Portland and I don’t enjoy discussing politics anymore. I am having trouble expressing to friends how this trip is changing me and my priorities. I want to focus my time now on causes where I think I can make a difference and to support women and girls as an ecotherapy coach and mentor.

How do I disengage from the rest of the world’s problems, but stay an engaged citizen? How do I focus the last stage of my career on making a difference on issues that matter to me the most? How do I integrate ecotherapy into my community?

Needless to say, I still have a lot to figure out before I return in December.

Now it feels like summer is upon us. I have switched my winter clothes into the bin that held my summer clothes and am adjusting to the hotter temperatures and larger crowds in the parks.

What summer holds for me, I do not know. But I’m excited to find out what’s next and to see what opportunities lie ahead.

I hope you can slow down and take in a sunset or two and open your mind to new possibilities that Mother Nature will present to you if you welcome her in. Cheers to a summer of joy, love and appreciation for our planet Earth and each other.


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