I was really spoiled growing up. Every summer there was never a shortage of lakes, beaches, and cottages to visit, explore, and relax at with my family. When I was younger we would spend a lot of time in Grindstone Provincial Park at my nana and papa’s cottage. My mom would continuously remind me to “stay off the trails” when I was by myself adventuring through the park. My response was always slightly insubordinate in nature. There was no chance I was listening to her direction. Nope. Not even a little (sorry, mom!). There were too many places to survey and too many people I hadn’t met yet. The trails were my best friend; literally and figuratively connecting me to whatever the woods had to offer.

Reflecting presently, I suppose I always had a wandering soul, exploring unfamiliar terrain, never satisfied until I reach the end of a trail. My inquisitive wonder often ignites a certain curiosity and I just NEED to know where a path leads. Perhaps that speaks to my impulsive tendencies and yearn for direction I continue to exhibit in my life. When the narrowness of the path meets the open landscape, I seek reward in recognizing the destination, or a thirst to press on, knowing there is more ground to conquer.

Now that a number of years have passed since hearing those words “stay off the trails if you’re by yourself!” it is safe to say not much has changed. I still favour trekking unfamiliar areas, I am still elated to meet new people, and now my mom's advice has shifted to “bring bear spray!” (she also sends me every newspaper article pertaining to bear attacks in the areas I frequent. By email and text. Just in case I didn’t receive it in one of the aforementioned mediums. I love her for this…).

Back to the point of my story, I spent many a night on the beaches of Grindstone Provincial Park, watching the sun set with friends, sipping from red solo cups and forging new friendships, some in which are still a part of my life. The sunset sky never seized to capture my attention – especially on a partially cloudy day, adding layers to the descending portrait that engulfed the horizon. That’s most likely the reason I am so captivated by sunrises and sunsets to this day. If you ever need a life reset, watch the sunrise. You’ll be reminded of that in which you need to continue or change.

Basically, I am using storytelling techniques to make one overarching point. If you are looking for a connector, follow these three simple steps:

1) Find a trail that makes sense for you and your life; embark upon it

2) Watch a sunrise and let the sky reveal answers

3) Repeat. And repeat.

And, use the photos seen throughout this post as inspiration and guidance.

Until next time,

Do North.

#sunrise #sunset #trails #hiking #explore #adventure #manitoba #ManitobaProvincialPark