Walking in nature is my coping method. A brisk walk on the trail never fails to put the things I’m wrestling with into perspective. For added stresses, I add a conversation with a trusted friend while I huff and puff up the hills.
One of those stir crazy days where I needed to get out for a walk to clear my head happened. Everything piled up into my day and I was staring down bedtime for my kids while solo parenting. I knew if I put the kids to bed and didn’t throw my walk in there, I would still be up hours later wrestling with my unease.
By the way, in case you’re wondering what a micro adventure is: it’s an adventure close to home, affordable and easy to organize. Think about it as a small challenge in your backyard, with items you already own.
I threw caution to the wind and announced we needed to go on a flashlight walk. Both kids were utterly entranced by what this might mean.
- Flashlight or head lamp
- Sense of Adventure
- Familiar trail, park or sidewalk (lit or unlit)
I strapped on head lamps to each of them, dressed them warmly and we took off into the trails while dusk was falling. Even though we were traipsing down the trails we walk regularly, dusk gave the trails and park a different feel and look. The shadows were lengthening into dark, and the trees swayed ominously in the strong wind.
“I’m scared, Mom,” a small voice to my left said. I explained it was the same park and trail we usually played in and that nothing had changed. If you wanted to see an object in the dark, just point your light at it. We held hands and slowly walked through, pointing our lights this way and that.
The familiar playground half way through our walk provided distraction, with small park streetlights dotting pools of light on the structures.
After the mystery of the night and the few scared moments, I wasn’t sure if the flashlight walk had been a hit or not. Returning home, both children were quiet, relaxed and ready for bed. I knew it had been successful the next night when Mr J asked – Can we go for a flashlight walk again tonight?