Jon’s Gift Of A Walk-About With Zack

Warm beverage
Notebook and pen/pencil
Small backpack
Warm Shoes/Clothing
Waterproof layers

That’s the list Zack emailed me. And somehow with it, any nervousness I was feeling about the trip evaporated when I saw it.

When Jon told me about the gift he was giving me of a day in the woods with Zack, a wilderness guide, I was both excited and wary.  The thought of five hours in a forest, two hours from home, with someone I didn’t know made me a little uncomfortable.

I felt better about it after talking to Zack on the phone.

He was easy to talk to, enthusiastic, and seemed truly interested in my thoughts about the day.  He does lots of different things, including tracking and identifying bird calls, plants, and trees. He also gives lessons in making natural dyes and making fiber from plants.

When Zack told me he believes the woods are a healing place, I felt like I was talking to someone who feels, in some important ways, the same as I do about nature.

We settled on the idea of a walkabout.

We’ll start with some tracking and see where it takes us. He has some awareness exercises planned also.  I told him that I have a terrible sense of direction and would love to learn what I can to be less afraid of getting lost in the woods.

Zack said he’d plan some skills to help me feel more prepared and comfortable when I’m in the woods.

So now, I’m just really looking forward to it.

I haven’t been in the woods for more than two hours at a time in over 15 years.  So I had to get a couple of things for the walkabout.  Yesterday Jon and I went to Dicks Sporting Goods and I got a small backpack and thermos bottle for my warm beverage.  ( I was shocked to find out the thermos cost $35.  But like I said it’s been a long time since I shopped for anything like this.)

My trip is planned for Saturday but now it looks like there may be some snow.  That would be fine if I didn’t have to drive a couple of hours there and back.  So if not this Saturday, then we’ll reschedule another day soon.

I’ve been thinking about why that list meant so much to me.

I’ve come up with a few things.

Waiting to hear back from Zack I’d been wondering what I would need to bring, making my own list in my head,  and not knowing if what I thought I’d need was what I actually would.  So the list took away that worry.  But I also liked that I didn’t have to ask and that Zack knows what I should bring and didn’t assume that I would.

I think it also took a little of the unknown away.

Zacks email gave me all the information I’d need until we get out into the woods. And although I’ve never been to the forest preserve that we’re going to, now I can imagine it.  I can picture myself with everything I need to begin our walkabout. Now the things I don’t know are no longer scary to me, but exciting.

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