Like every kid discovers, that has ever spent endless summers hiking, camping and canoeing in and around beautiful parks and freshwater lakes, a healthy appreciation and respect for the wonders of the outdoors, is rooted deep in the soul.
In fact, one of my father’s favorite stories to tell about days long past occurred on a cool summer morning when a thick fog had descended on our campsite. Apparently, dad was getting dressed and mom was fixing her hair, inside the tent, and like most four-year-olds, I darted off to explore whatever was within hands reach.
As he says he so vividly remembers, Dad stepped out of the tent to come after me when to his amazement, I had vanished in the dense, meter-high layer of fog. I was nowhere to be found. He called my name, but no answer. But suddenly, “I kind of saw this trail forming in the fog, kind of zigzagging through the trees and around the makeshift picnic table.” Apparently mom and dad got a good laugh as they let the charade go on for quite some time.
I give this background because, as we all know, every moment of awakening, or epiphany in life, is predicated upon the magical mixture of events and experiences that unfold into the uniqueness of you.
My story has always been about nature. My deepest insights into the mysteries of life came as a result of being surrounded by nature. My experiences as a child in the outdoors, no doubt anchored my life and my future deeply in the love for wild and untamed places.
About four summers ago I spent a month scrambling around the beautiful peaks of the Canadian Rockies. Most of the time, and selfishly, I was alone. Something about aloneness and nature, compliment each other so perfectly well!
At any rate, I had two separate, but very related, experiences that opened my eyes to the wonders of nature, and made me understand the importance of protecting the landscapes that, as I see it, make up the very best lecture halls in the world.
While on a solo ascent of Mt. Lefroy near Lake Louise, I suddenly found myself gripped. I was feeling a bit paralyzed by the steep 55% angle, the exposure and fact that I was…alone. I remember leaning into the mountain, my tools firmly griped in the ice and looking between my legs to Abbot Hut about 300 meters below.
Looking over my shoulder west were giant mountains in British Columbia, and to the east endless ranges of mountains all the way to the horizon. But what I was able to figure out, splayed out hugging the mountain in terror, would, I think, change my life forever.
I suddenly realized that all this fear that I was feeling, all the anxiety, was no more than a cue, an indicator to wake up, let the rest of the world disappear, and to get focused like never before. Every breath, every thought, every single part of my being and existence was about living in that moment. Out of body really…
– Shane Price, Founder of Green Circle Salons
Click here to read Part 2. Check out Shane’s webisode here.
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