I buckle the last strap of my snowshoes and stand up straight taking in a deep breath of what has become the most powerful of all medicines - the fresh air. With backpack on and my favourite blade attached I begin my journey into what I consider my own piece of heaven.
I pass slowly through the beauty that is the Canadian Wilderness. I hear can hear the thin crusted layer on the top of the snow breaking with each push forward of my snowshoes. I watch as my own breathe helps determine the direction of the cool breeze.
I touch every tree as I pass it showing my respect and my deep appreciation for their strength, longevity and super powers. I run my hand over its bark and I smell its powerful winter aroma.
I continue walking deeper into the bush following the signs of life. The highways of hare, the footprints of fox and the wonders of the wolf. Each one telling me where it came from, where it was going and along the way what they were doing. They all leave their sign allowing their predators to track them and maintain mother earth's circle of life.
When I arrived at my spot I take a moment to draw in a long deep cleansing breath. I remove my backpack and place it against my favourite mighty oak. I clear a small swath of snow just enough to sit on my backpack with my back against the strong rounded trunk of that mighty tree.
It is there in the moments that follow that I truly find peace. I close my eyes and take three deep cool breaths. With each breath I rid myself of life's stresses. The bills, the cars the worries of the world. They disappear. I feel reborn, renewed and my body rejuvenated. I feel wonderfully unimportant amongst her beauty.
I just sit and allow my senses to take over. I smell the fresh clean air filled with the aroma of the pine family. I see sheets waving in the wind from the amazing birch. I hear the sweet sounds of the winter birds who show us that winter living is possible. I feel the snow against my skin, cooling me and reminding me of my childhood when hours spent in the snow always yielded the pride of a snow fort. As I look around my attention is drawn to the snowshoe hare moving gracefully through deep snow while camouflaged to the normal winter wanderer.
It is here that I feel closest to the earth. It is here that it all makes sense. It is here where I have discovered who I am and what is in important in my life.
I sit here patiently and wait. It is my patients and my respect of these gifts that brings me the reward of mother earth allowing me to see, hear, touch and smell all of her children.
It is right here, under this mighty oak, where I have found my wilderness mind.
It is here that I will take my boys. I will bring them and say nothing. I will not describe my feelings. I will not tell them of the wonders that abound if they look. It is here that I will allow my boys to discover their own wilderness mind. It is here that their lives will change forever.