Algonquin Park: In the Stillness of the North Moon
As the heart of winter beats with each snowflake that falls from the sky I cannot help but feel the inner stillness and peace that this season brings to Algonquin Park. A time to slow down and search within ourselves for those things that truly make our heart sing. What is it in our lives that fuel that sacred fire that burns deep at our core? Are we tending and feeding that fire with ‘wood’ that is nourishing and makes the flame grow brighter and stronger? In this time of introspection we can contemplate the past year while getting ready for the new beginnings that lie ahead. I like to envision myself as a seed lying dormant beneath the protection of the frozen snow. Waiting for the just the right time to sprout and grow towards the sun as the seasons turn. Inside of these seeds is the knowledge and wisdom of countless generations that have come before. We too hold this vastness of ancient knowledge within each of us. It is waiting in dormancy for just the right time to sprout and grow as long as we provide the right environment and conditions for that seed to flourish.
As I ski across our frozen Algonquin Park lake under the glistening stars away from the Edge I am overwhelmed by the feeling of gratitude and thankfulness. Gratitude for all those that have come before and so very thankful to be alive and healthy inside this moment. The ice groans and echoes under my feet as I glide across the frozen water that has ‘cradled’ our canoes so many times. My mind flashes to the countless trips that have come and gone from this place into the beautiful landscapes of Algonquin Park. I think ahead to the many adventures that will come this year and the many new faces that will forever be etched in my mind and heart. An owl calls from the distance and brings me back into this special moment in the middle of this frozen landscape. At this time of year I find myself dreaming ahead to the coming paddling season as we prepare and plan for each of our unique trips. Who will come with us, what will we see and experience and how will our lives change from our interaction with the natural world? Each time I venture into the wilderness I learn a little more not only about the natural world, but also about myself and how I can affect a positive change in this world we live in. It is said that in the purity of the wilderness we will find all that we search for. Right now, in the solitude and serenity of this moment, my heart beats in unison with that of the Earth. My fire burns bright as a smile curls across my face and the words ‘Thank You’ flow from my whole being.