When Nature Calls

August 15, 2015 | by Michelle Meier

Every year my dad, sister and I venture on a father-daughter trip to somewhere new, whether to the moss-covered gorges of Iceland, the clear turquoise waters of the San Blas Islands or to the mesmerizing lakes of the Canadian Rockies. Wherever we go, one thing's for sure: Nature always revives us.

I could feel my quads pumping relentlessly with each surefooted uphill step.  There was still a slight darkness under the canopy of trees where the morning fog hung upon the branches.  The air was crisp and redolent with the intoxicating scent of pine.  Every few steps, I’d deepen my breath, addicted to the scent of Christmas all around us and lingering in my nose. 

Memories of when we still had a real tree for Christmas popped into my head…hanging ornaments with mom, listening to the Vienna boys choir singing “Silent Night”, laughing and playing by the magical lights of the tree.  It’s amazing how the whiff of one smell can transcend time and space. 

We’d left the Fairmont Chateaux early to explore Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada; it felt like we were the first to walk the path that day.  The higher we ascended into the mountains, the fresher the air become.  My lungs were bursting with joy.  I’d never breathed as easily back home in the often muggy and humid Florida.  This air was new.  And, regardless of the intense cardio climb, I’d never felt more energized and full of breath and life.

As we followed the steadily climbing path, my dad, sister and I laughed about some of the fun memories we’ve shared together on our annual trips.  We affectionately call oursevles "EPV", which stands for Equipo Pura Vida, or Team Pura Vida, referring to Costa Rica's characteristic phrase that means "the pure life".  A fitting team name for us three, as we love to explore the world with pure hearts and in celebration of the beauty all around us.

Eventually we broke through the early morning fog.  The three of us continuously gazed across the stunning landscape with starstruck eyes. 

The dense coniferous forest of verdant pine trees blanketed the sometimes jagged edges of Lake Louise’s surrounding mountains…shades of pine green and calming slate grey were offset by the lake’s signature unusually mint green color.  Delicate purple wildflowers grew without abandon upon some of the steepest slopes.

There are moments in life when we feel so present and in tune with the world around us, that WE literally transcend time and space.  This was one of those moments. 

And it’s in nature, I find, when we can most easily reconnect with the present moment and essentially return to our deepest nature within, which is to love and to be free.

"Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better."