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Last week, there was still snow on the ground. And plentiful mud. The dog and his pals enjoyed much romping in puddles. I stepped into the thick muddy ground and felt the cool of the earth through my boots and the warmth of the sun on my face. Hello, Spring.

Nature is our habitat and I hardly know it, except for the manicured spaces here in the city. I didn’t grow up learning how to be out in the wild.  Even camping can be too close to other humans, with sounds of car doors slamming, people talking, dogs barking. Yesterday, in the early morning I sat next to an open window and listened to the gentle chirping of birds. And then an airplane flew overhead.

I want access to quiet spaces.

I think the only way to get there is to walk into nature, away from cars and lights and busyness. Next month, I’ll take a short backpacking trip—my first. My outdoor skills aren’t great and I don’t have the right gear. But I am learning. It’s all I know how to do.