For as long as I can remember time spent alone in nature has been my therapy. Those countless hours spent outside were sacred and restorative. In the woods and meadows, beside rivers and lakes - these were the places where I contemplated and gained perspective on my life.
My life looks nothing like it did a few short years ago. As I write, my two year old daughter Cora is sleeping near me on the bed, and I have another sweet girl due in May. When you become a parent, you are expected to effortlessly adjust to your new role and paradigm. For the most part, I have made this shift with no regrets.
But there is one adjustment I've had the most difficulty making. Nope, it's not going out to eat, reading or even bathing. And it's not being a "working" woman, journaling or wearing matching socks.
What I miss is my alone time in nature. I miss walking out that door into the wild at a moment's notice. Most of all, I miss the person I was after returning. Calm, clear - filled with some secret inspiration.
Here are some ways I'm working through these feelings:
At first I felt some shame even writing this post. After all, I chose to be a mother. Did I really think I was going to be able to go running out into the dandelions whenever the urge arose? Thing is, guilt just makes me freeze up. Acknowledging and sharing my feelings no matter how they may be perceived is important right now.
Cora and I in the woods behind our house
I'm working on enjoying the moments my daughter and I share together. No, it's not the same experience as being completely alone in the deep woods, but it has the potential to fill my soul in an all together different way. I'm listening to the Chickadees through her ears, watching the sun set in her eyes. It truly is a miracle, and these moments are already slipping away...
Finding TimeRather than oppressing my urge all together, I really do need to make time for myself. I love this article on The Power of Lonely. I'm not talking about taking the meandering walks of days gone past. But, I'll be a much better mom and partner if I stop and listen for the Barred Owl on my walk to the mailbox each night. Even that would be enough.
So what about you? What are you struggling with right now?
Thanks so much for coming along with me on this one. I don't have this figured out yet, and I value any thoughts or feelings you have.
Your Woman Gone Wild,
I’m with you. I need my time alone in nature but sometimes it is hard to find the time.
i too miss the things I once loved. But like you my focus changed to involve my kids. Hang on to going out in nature alone. You might not get to do it as often but it’ll make that time more special.
This is so beautiful. I got goosebumps reading it. I completely understand. I have two VERY talkative and busy boys and those rare moments I get of silence in nature are NOT taken for granted.