We spent the long weekend at Sequoia / Kings Canyon National Park. During the days, we hiked up a number of trails, along with scrambling on huge rocks along a river near Kings Canyon.
At the start of most trail heads, you’ll find an informational sign that provides hikers with various types of knowledge and facts on that area. Every so often, the National Park system adds an inspirational quote by John Muir, Ansel Adams, or others that capture the feelings and experiences one gets while being in the outdoors.
“Who… can walk in a forest without the forest speaking to him?” – Honoré de Balzac
This was a quote on one of those informational signs. This one little sentence kept with me during the rest of the camping trip. The many reasons why I enjoy being outdoors is the opportunity to quiet the mind and have time and space to ponder about things.
Thoughts are cleared up. Ideas are built upon. Connections are made. Tasks are created.
Perhaps it’s not just us and our own minds on those trails, but the presence of trees, plants, animals, rocks, fallen branches, vegetation… nature, all of nature, speaking to us, helping us make sense of it all. I found that in the quietness of hikes or the stare of a campfire, comes clarity that speaks so loudly to us, telling us things we need to hear that we can’t help but pay attention to.
When I get back to the city with these new insights on my mind, I can’t help but think there was something more, something bigger than myself, to contribute my current sense of clarity, creativity, and focus.