My Mother’s Day Gift: The Great Outdoors

For Mother’s Day this year, I asked for deep cleansing breaths of fresh air, for uninterrupted skies of blue, and for a day of walking wild.

We live in an amazing suburb of Chicago, one I just wrote about for the May issue of Chicago Parent. The public schools are top notch. We’re close to public transportation. I walk to the supermarket, and we can get in to the city on a good day in 20 minutes. But we’re far from nature.

Oh sure, we have a little zoo, a little walking path around a little lake. If you drive 15 minutes, you can get to a beautiful but very expensive Arboretum. But you can still hear the highway. You can still hear the planes. It doesn’t have that peaceful, deep down healing feeling of a quiet walk in the still woods.

So for Mother’s Day. I asked for the great outdoors.

We piled into the minivan and drove 2 hours to Starved Rock State Park where we climbed trees, got muddy, waded through streams, and filled our eyes with the great blue sky. I let the kids yell as loud as they could and then dared them to yell louder. No one complained. Their voices echoed against the striped sandstone cliffs, and it sounded like music, meshed with the whispering breeze through the towering trees around us. It was nature. It was glorious. And it was all I wanted for mother’s day.

I hope your mother’s day was also glorious, wild, and joyful. I have a feeling I’ll be declaring a mother’s day bolt back to nature much sooner than next May. It may even need to become a monthly escape.

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