I always say to people that the two great loves of my life are the mountains and water. But it’s funny how easily the chaos of life can pull you away from the things that you love. Often times my life gets too busy and I simply forget to make time to go out in nature. At times it can take me feeling extremely disconnected with myself or overwhelmed with the way of the world to remember to go out and explore.
A few weeks ago this summer I got to rediscover why exactly water is so important to me. I hadn’t been out exploring and adventuring for awhile and I knew I wanted to get back to the water. Just like the mountains, the water calls to me and it’s a magnetism I can’t ignore.
So I went out to one of my favourite lakes for it’s clear beautiful colours. While I came ready to swim or to walk around the lake I decided to go kayaking. It had been awhile since I had been out on the water in that way and it was my first time getting to kayak on that particular lake.
I took my sweet time, over a few hours, just tracing the edge of the lake to see what I would find. Exploring it’s different nooks and crannies I discovered areas I wanted to return to like a rope swing, little islands, and far off beaches away from campers or day use crowds. I didn’t get to see any wildlife but I got the mountain views.
The next day despite my exhaustion I headed out to one of my all time favourite waterfalls that just happens to be local. While I had photographed it before I had never actually spent time enjoying the cascading water. Completely alone with the sounds of nature I laughed with joy with the feeling of interacting with this beautiful place.
On Wednesday after teaching a yoga class beside a nearby lake I decided that I wanted to go for a sunset dip. The lake is usually extremely cold when enjoyed under the hot sun. But to my delight after I jumped off the dock at dusk I was met with warmer water. I laid back feeling refreshed as I looked up at the light pink sky.
By Thursday I realized that I had been in a different body of water each day. I loved the thought of this and decided to continue it if I could for as many days as possible. That night I had to do some work in a remote area near a lake. I decided to make a day of it and headed to a hike that had been on my list for awhile and then went for a nice sunset dip afterward to freshen up before starting my work.
Friday was the blood full moon, lunar eclipse (in a series of three), and mars being closest to Earth since 2003. I knew I wanted to do something special for it all. My mother and I decided to commute an hour to the beach to set our intentions and write a list of what we wanted to let go. I sat on the sandy beach to write my list and then walked along the shore, the small waves lapping up onto my feet, as the sun went down and the moon rose behind us.
The next day I went into Vancouver to watch the Celebration Of Light. It was South Africa’s night and it was by far the most spectacular set of fireworks I have witnessed. While I didn’t go into the water earlier in the day due to contamination levels, I did sit by the ocean to watch this spectacular show and enjoyed the ocean air.
I decided to end my week by taking a short road trip from Vancouver to one of my favourite spots in British Columbia. The mountain views and ocean colour there are spectacular (the cover photograph of this blog). The best part is it’s often only known by locals. It’s a place of recluse for me where I can enjoy the sounds of nature and my time swimming without interruption. While the day I went there happened to be more people then usual I was still able to spend my day in the ocean, looking out at the stunning view, and appreciating the natural beauty around me.
My week of water reminded me the importance natural water holds in my life. While swimming is good for your health, being in nature and going on these adventures is even better for my mental health. Being in and surrounded by water allows me to reconnect myself. If ever I am feeling ungrounded or lost all I need to do is jump into natural water and I feel worlds better.
We take our water sources for granted, we pollute them and we harm the creatures living in them. It is important if we enjoy something to also respect it. I practice protecting where I play. So while I enjoy these natural places I do my part to ensure I am not harming them.
If you want to learn more on reducing your impact you can join my group Women’s Eco-Friendly Health Collaborative.