Starting today, Wednesday April 29, Laura Kuhl and I will be hiking the trails in UW Madison's Arboretum. Come join us at 11:30 am as we tour the gorgeous budding tree garden and meditate half way through as a group. We will meet at the visitors center near the Seminole Highway entrance. We plan to continue with this time and place every Wednesday through Fall (weather permitting). If you have questions or get lost feel free to call or text my cell at (920) 371-1289. This initiative is called "My Front Door" series by Laura in collaboration with Hike & Heal.
My parents are not the outdoorsy type of people. We didn't go hiking together, camp or explore state parks. Our family was way too big (8 kids) to take a lot of vacations so we would end up in Lakewood, WI on summer weekends as I was growing up to get exposure to nature and relax. Us kids would build forts, take the trail around the lake to find fox holes, deer, rabbits and tweet at the birds. It was a no wake lake, so we used a row boat to go catch turtles and fish. We swam in the lake, boated around the lake, and often bathed in the lake. Even though we only went there until I was about 10, these memories shaped my life. It was the first exposure I had to Mother Natures true beauty.
My grandparents moved and my younger brother and I were in too many sports so we moved from West Green Bay to Suamico to live on manmade Lake Leon near Lake Michigan. This was our parents gift to us since we couldn't make it to Lakewood anymore. We would spend all of the time we could outside on the lake, swimming, jumping on our water trampoline, fishing, getting bit by horseflies, and playing "buck n' bronco" on circular inner tubes. How could anyone complain about this perfect childhood? The best part, though, was that we never stopped exploring! We'd ride our bikes to a big willow tree down the road to climb, or bike to the big lake a few miles away to walk the shoreline and find "treasures."
Not until I went to college did I embrace the outdoors again. I visited my sister in California to camp in Big Sur, went to New Zealand (what a breathtaking country!!) and found myself running through parks near the Chippewa as often as my schedule allowed. The real reason I did any of this was because I began working in Door County, WI as a sophomore. Home to five state parks and over 200 miles of shoreline, this place is my paradise. My soul grew up here, nurtured in the woods, trails, farmland and sunsets. I learned to be a better person by mentoring under Tim Pflieger, owner and founder of the Team Leadership Center. I dealt with heartbreak, came out to my family as a lover of both sexes, figured out I didn't have to teach in schools like my Physical Education professors suggested, and just grew up.
Everything I loved and learned in Door County and Lakewood have brought me to this new and exciting turning point in my life. I want to reconnect people with natures healing elements to grow like I did. To grow like I do each day I take the time to be outside with myself. After all, that's the hardest part, right? Taking time for you?
Join Laura and I to take some "me-time," and really explore the beauty Madison has to offer. My wife and I moved here February of 2014, and when people ask me what I love about Madison I don't say the city. I say the trees. The gargantuan, old and wise trees that surround communities and relish in the woods. I'm not planning to always go to the Arboretum. I'd like to go after work some days to find the best places for sunsets, to see where lighting inspires and where people are scarce. I want to enjoy people's company and then be alone in my thoughts. So come! And bring your favorite spots to share so we can go there a different week.
See you soon!
Hi, Moira here. When I'm not playing with my dogs, listening to music, enjoying nature or being with my friends/family, I'm probably writing. Read these blogs for wellness opportunities we offer at Hike & Heal, ones I know that are awesome or just some tidbits about living a healthier life.