We live in a world where everything is indoors, online, quick and easy. Today’s generation understands immediate gratification, social media and “as seen on TV” (or any other screen).
We’ve lost the social interaction, patience, gratitude and quality time spent with family and friends (in person).
This week, our family rented a little cottage on the water in Muskoka. My husband and I enjoy the outdoors, waterfalls, fishing, boating and hiking. All of these activities were completely foreign to our foster child. She struggled with debilitating anxiety just thinking about this trip. But once we got here, her world changed completely.
She is in awe of the beauty all around her. The huge rock formations that suddenly open up to vast lakes, the height and density of the trees, the stillness of the water, the people are so friendly. All of this was something she just couldn’t understand because she had never been outside the city.
The first day, it was obvious that she wanted to try everything, but didn’t know how to do any of it. I fitted her with a life jacket and we hopped on a paddle boat to tour the lake. Her fear of being on the water vanished as she allowed herself to just breath. She told me that it’s so relaxing here, she can’t get anxious about anything, even the things she would get very upset about at home, don’t bother her here.
After that, she quickly learned to Kayak, Canoe, fish and eagerly looked forward to our little day trips. She can rig her own fishing pole (including the worms), and somehow managed to catch a huge snapping turtle (which we quickly released).
We took her to High Falls, just North of Bracebridge and she was off like a shot. She became our tour guide and lead us to several little falls in the park. She crossed downed trees to reach the other side of the river, she climbed steep rocks, stood on the edge of a cliff looking down, snapping pictures the whole time.
We sat down to chat one evening and I asked her if all the excruciating headaches and anxiety were worth it? No, she said, it was all just a waste of time, this place is amazing! I asked her about her fear of heights and she replied that apparently she doesn’t have that fear anymore.
This trip has been an interesting point of self-discovery for this bright, beautiful and now; highly spirited young lady. She is going to camp for the first time in August and prior to this trip, had spent enormous amounts of time stressing and worrying because she didn’t have anything to compare the experience too, and now she does. Now, she is looking forward to camp and all the activities, the people, and especially the scenery.
Moral of the Story
“if you change your view, you can change your point of view.”