The essential nature of the field trip

“The lupines are at their most glorious best right now along the river trail,” my husband said to me after his run. His words changed my plans for the morning, especially once I realized I had not taken the river trail for at least five weeks because of shorter walks while my dog healed. She was ready for a longer walk, and I was ready for a field trip.

We rounded the first corner of the river trail, and this is what greeted us:

Purplefieldtrip2016_1FT

A real-life Impressionist painting?

She and I walked the trail together first, and I returned later with the camera. I didn’t want to wear her out with so much standing still while I took photos.

As I walked, I could feel myself inhale more deeply and let go with each exhale a little bit of the tension that had built up in me these last few hard weeks.

Purplefieldtrip2016_2FT

Among the sea of purple, I stopped to listen. The wind rustled—a gentle, unceasing caress—through the flowers. Bees and hummingbirds buzzed about, and water rushed by.

I realized I had underestimated the essential nature of the field trip, more healing and more necessary even in adulthood than in childhood.

Purplefieldtrip2016_3FT

Purple lupine and other blooms, growing wherever possible along the trail

Purplefieldtrip2016_4FT

I loved field trips during school when I was growing up. Whether to a museum, or a farm, or the nearby university, a field trip meant something different and new. My favorite final exam in high school involved a field trip to the art museum so we could choose pieces of art and sit in front of them as we wrote our essays about the artist, the piece, the time period, the art movement of the day.

Field trips take us out of the ordinary, mundane tasks of our daily existence. They refresh, invigorate and recharge us. They teach us to pause and examine beauty we might otherwise miss. I’m especially grateful for this unplanned one.

Purplefieldtrip2016_5FT

Poppies are blooming, too, and I love to see them standing out in the sea of purple flowers.

Have you been on a field trip lately? Is it time to get outside and discover what you’ve been missing this spring?

6 thoughts on “The essential nature of the field trip

  1. I love the last two pictures – I can see them recreated in chalk pastel. So vivid and beautiful! I think I will sign up for a field trip on that trail! = )

    Thank you for sharing.

    • That’s a great place to visit! I was thinking of cemeteries this morning. Sac has one that has been declared historic, and as a result, several rare but only-decades-old rose bushes are slated to be torn out. I keep meaning to get over there for a visit before the roses are gone.

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