What does it mean to be wild? To feel wild? Hanging out with a bunch of women outside (for the most part) this few days has left me pondering that. To me, wildness implies a sense of freedom. A sense of being carefree. A sense of belonging in nature. Over the past few days I had the honour to hang out with some amazing women here in the Kootenays as I piloted the first Wild Women Expeditions retreat. Since I wasn’t physically able to go to Peru this year, I thought staying close to home would be better for my health: it was. In every way. There is no jet lag this time, and I’m sitting on my porch 24 hours later (naked of course) typing away and reflecting on the past week. I feel emotionally and spiritually fed from being in the company of like-minded women, from kayaking Slocan Lake on a bluebird day, from being in ceremony during a beautiful day at the sweat lodge, and from singing and dancing.  We explored the four elements and the four directions together and connected with each other on a deep level really quickly. Open. Vulnerable. Tears and laughter. 

Yes, to me that is what it means to feel wild. Honesty. Also, I didn’t wash my hair the whole week. I didn’t pack any makeup. I still have the rich earth from the land at Mountain Waters on the soles of my feet, and I am reluctant to wash it off. I read a book called, “Earthing” while I was there, which talks about how when we connect with the earth and her electromagnetic field, mostly by being barefoot, our whole way of being changes.  

While we were hiking on the east shore one day I remembered how I’d be barefoot for weeks and months at a time at my summer camp in Ontario. Camp Kitchikewana was and still is a place where I feel nurtured, supported and at one with myself. It was a girls’ camp when I was a camper, which was great, because I wasn’t trying to impress boys by brushing my hair, or paying attention to my experience at all. In fact, I don’t remember ever looking in a mirror much at all. The wash stand was outside, and there were no mirrors there, and we only had a small one near the counsellor’s bunk, which was pretty much for her to get ready for a day off. During those sacred weeks, I never looked at myself. But I did look at myself on the inside. I had the freedom to choose what activities I liked, the freedom to swim at least four times a day in Georgian Bay. We bathed every morning naked in the water and didn’t shower for the whole two weeks. Mostly, I was a complete dirtbag and I loved it. I had the privilege of breathing pure fresh air every day, far away from the city. I got to sing my heart out around a campfire, where on the last night of the session, we’d all hug, sway back and forth and sing “Leavin’ on a Jet Plane” with tears streaming down our faces, knowing that most of us wouldn’t see anyone again until the following summer. We honoured all of the elements every day, without awareness perhaps, but always with gratitude. 

My week with these women reminded me of these times, and Lisa, one the amazing women on the trip told me that she felt like she was at camp. That is the atmosphere and experience I was trying to create with this trip. A feeling of being free. Of being in my own body. A feeling of being myself.  An opportunity to be wild. 

I thank all of the women I have shared these experiences with, and continue to create more experiences. I thank my mum and dad for sending me to camp on that special island for so many years.

All my relations. 

Sat Nam.

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