Sunday, April 15, 2012

Learning the Joy of The Path Less Travelled

 Jianna and I went for a hike in beautiful O'Dell Park today. 
Our time enjoying the gorgeous weather, nature and a little exercise turned into a life lesson and transformation for my Littlest Princess Diva Jianna.

Now, in order to understand the magnitude of this transformation, 
you'd have to understand a few things. Although it is only mid April, Jianna would not agree to go on this outing with me unless I first bought bug spray.
She is a city girl through and through, initially the moss growing on the trees and rocks grossed her out and every sound sent her head on a swivel 
looking for some ominous creature waiting to pounce on her. 
(O'Dell Park is literally in the centre of the is not some wilderness in a remote location but that reassurance did not help Jianna)

Getting Jianna to leave the graveled walking paths was at first a challenge, she hated this rock crevice as she was convinced it was a cave and something was lurking inside.
The rocks actually meet...there is no hole...only a corner but this was as close as I could get her.

The more I had Jianna stop and listen to only the wind rustling the leaves or to tune out everything except the babbling of a brook; the more comfortable she became. She no longer feared we were getting too far from the main paths and was actually mildly annoyed if another human dared happen along, invading our private little sanctuary.

I told her about all my long walks as a young girl and how walking in nature always made me think of God. 
I pointed out some large rocks and told her about my "Praying Rock" where  I used to spend hours at as a teen living on the Ranch, how it had a perfect little seat carved out of it and I would climb up there and spend time talking to God. 
Jianna loved this.
 (this was Jianna trying to get close to a chipmunk and showing him that she had no weapons 
and was harmless LOL)

 I talked to Jianna about being an adventurer, about how sometimes you can miss out on a new discovery by being afraid to try something new or blazing your own path.

By this point, Jianna had decided she would do whatever she had to, in order to avoid the carved out path. She was hesitant as to how she might cross the water and ice but I cheered her on (from the bridge pictured below), 
reminding her that the water was only ankle deep and that the worst that would happen is that she would get wet.

As Jianna climbed back up to meet me she was exhilarated at having crossed the water without getting wet and we talked about being victorious. She commented that she had been scared and I reminded her that doing something that scares you makes you a conqueror and she loved that.

When Jianna was determined not to use this bridge for the purpose it was intended...
I caught a glimpse of the "monster" I had created in my attempt to have her experience more than what was comfortable to her.

...albeit a very cute monster ;)

Mighty, Princess Diva Jianna the Conqueror!!!

Jianna told me that she and I should come out on these adventure hikes every weekend from here on, which I think is a lovely idea! 
She also made a comment at one point, as we walked along a particularly quiet and lovely part of the park with the sun peeking through the trees:
"Wouldn't this make a very romantic date?"
I agreed...yes, it really would...I guess she comes by it all naturally. :)