Summer is a time for reconnecting with your true self. It's not how far you travel, just how open you are to listening and seeing.
Since I was a child, Alaska and the Yukon Territory of Canada have been a touchstone of pure joy for me. The vast forests and interconnecting waterways offer exploration of nature and spirit.
We left behind cell phones and computers and traded them in for bird calls and sunsets.
Some of our discoveries were old friends, like the chocolate lily. The first article I sold to a magazine was about Alaskan flowers and highlighted this contrary lily. Alaskan winters are too harsh for most bee species. Many flowering plants of the north depend on other insect pollinators. The chocolate lily is beautiful, but its scent is horrible. Its aroma of decaying flesh attracts pollinating flies.
Some of the animals we went looking for were huge, but the best way to find the humpback whales was to turn off the boat engine and listen. In the calm air of Icy Strait, just outside Glacier Bay National Park, we could hear the blast of whale spout (their exhalation upon surfacing) over two miles away.
As more and more of us live in cities around the world, we lose touch with our natural state of being. We are part of the ebb of tides, the change of seasons, the gathering of creatures that collect fall berries. The only thing that separates us from the whales and chocolate lilies is that we think we are different.
Take a walk or sit outside and watch evening fall across the world. Find your touchstone that takes you back to your best self.