A Memorable Day in the Great Bear Rainforest

Healthy Mindset – Day 17

This photo is from one of my most memorable days ever. It was on a bear watching trip to the Great Bear Rainforest off the coast of northern British Columbia in June 2013. There were seven of us crammed in a zodiac drifting silently along hoping to spot this bear which we’d had a glimpse of a few hours earlier. Photography has taught me a lot of lessons and that day was all about patience. For five hours we floated along in complete silence so that we were as unobtrusive as possible. I can still remember how I felt then. At first, it was kind of awkward. We all fidgeted until most of us were in comfortable positions; there was some whispering, but even that was discouraged. Then, I was distracted by someone who couldn’t seem to get comfortable, and I felt annoyed by that. I started thinking about how long we were going to be out there and how much coffee I’d had at lunch. And then a sort of settling in happened, and the whole experience became that much richer. I stopped thinking and started listening to the birds which seemed to be singing louder and enjoying the scenery which seemed that much more lush as we slowly moved along. Turning off my brain, turned up all my other senses.

You only need sit still long enough in some attractive spot in the woods that all its inhabitants may exhibit themselves to you by turns.  

Henry David Thoreau

I had a similar feeling the other day when I was out for my daily walk. When this all started, going for a walk had been a way to work off pent up anxiety about reading too much news and social media posts. Now that I’m looking for those signs of hope and optimism (the hearts in windows and the wonders of sidewalk chalk art), I’m not really thinking about anything else. I notice houses, yards and trees I’ve never really looked at before but have walked by many, many times. I see pets in windows, mostly dogs happy to see someone walk by.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it’s going to be like when we all get to “emerge” again. I worry that spending too much time inside, shutting out the world (even though I know why and wholeheartedly support its necessity) is not good for us humans. Being outside and walking by the signs of hope and optimism, block after block, makes me believe that in the big scheme of things, we’re going to be okay.

Today’s writing exercise is to describe one of your most memorable days.

Some scenes from a memorable day on the water to end today’s post.

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