Three weeks ago, I was on a 5-day solo kayaking trip on Lake Superior. As always, she is in charge of whether or not you kayak on any particular day. This trip was filled with all the variations of weather—calm water, crystal clear skies as blue as ever, warm sun, rain, high winds, crashing waves, and thunder and lightning. I was presented with weather challenges, but I didn’t experience them as a challenge. I just moved with them; took cover under my tarp in the rain, got off the water in the thunderstorm, and enjoyed the changing water and sky. I felt a calmness the entire time, and was filled with gratitude.

When I was in my twenties, I had numerous encounters with bears coming around my tent and eating my food. In one case, the mother was on one side of the tent and the cub on the other—not a comfortable situation! Since then, I have always been very aware of their potential danger. But this year, for the first time, I didn’t have an “ear open” for them wandering around my tent. I enjoyed the sleep of a baby. Maybe it was all the grounding I was doing by going barefoot all day, maybe it was letting go of “what ifs” as I published my book, maybe it was not seeing any sign of them. But whatever the reasons, this was a marked change—a release from all concern—and it was delicious. It seemed as though I was able to apply what I had written about in my book. It worked, and it was wonderful.