Updated: Nov 12, 2019
A little over a week ago I hiked in Itasca State Park located in Park Rapids, MN. It is a large state park and it is also the oldest state park in Minnesota which has lots of amenities and a very interesting visitors center. With over 100 lakes within the park and over 32,000 acres, I highly recommend a visit there. One of the things that drew me to Itasca State Park was the fact that it contains the Mississippi headwaters and that I would be able to walk across the Mississippi, and last Friday I did just that!
As we began our hike I already could feel my body relaxing as I took a few cleansing breaths of the fresh clear, crisp autumn air. When we arrived at the Mississippi headwaters, we could see several families of trumpeter swans feeding on the lake as they prepare for their migration. Being well fed is part of the long journey for the swans and their families.
While we continued through the woods we saw large areas of Tamarack trees, and wild rice fields with the sun and blue gray skies reflecting on the water. It was the type of visual that is a feast to my photographer eyes. We were also accompanied by a rather large raven who followed us for a bit and he and I exchanged “croaks” so we knew where each other were and our sounds echoed in the pine tree forest, that was fun and fascinating.
For me a couple of hours in the woods allows me to feel visually, mentally and spiritually fed. Having my camera in tow on the adventure provides endless opportunities for me to awaken all of my senses and keeps me in awe of the magnificence and artistry of nature. From the tiniest orange fungus to the red and white pine trees which are like skyscrapers of the forest, I am in the zone. The zone of calm, clarity, expansive breath and a more open heart. Standing in the woods, facing out towards the water and viewing the big open skies, I know that when I am out in nature, it is able to take in all of my energy. Standing here, I can release and let go of the millions of thoughts and ideas that swirl around this mind of mine and release it all to Nature. She can handle it.. I leave the woods taking a different path than the way I came in, taking with me a different perspective of the woods, a different perspective of self, nourished, enriched and well fed.
What does it look like to feed your soul? What is it that allows you to have that feeling of being nurtured, fulfilled, and well fed? If you are not feeding yourself or exploring ways to be fulfilled, ask yourself what is holding you back? In a world where everybody is busy, procrastinating or distracting themselves, now more than ever we need to step back and look at our lives, our relationships, and our work and ask the question “How am I being fed?” What did you hear when you asked yourself this question? If it was crickets that you heard, I encourage you to stop doing and go seeking within yourself and discover what your soul is hungry for.