If I could only choose three things that I really love doing I would have to nominate reading, running, and hiking. Perhaps it’s no surprise that I would select the things that I was naturally drawn to as a child. The things that resonate with us as children seem to stay with us, even if they lie dormant at various times in our lives. It’s as if they remain deeply embedded in our souls waiting to re-emerge when the time is right.
This is not to say that I am not drawn to and inspired by all sorts of other things as an adult. There are so many other things that I love doing – travelling, taking photographs, practising yoga and listening to live music are just a few. I never want to stop learning and discovering. I’ve realised, however, that I draw enormous comfort and pleasure from doing the things I loved to do as a child.
Being absorbed in a good book makes me think of the little girl who, after a trip to the local bookshop with her father on the first day of the school holidays, excitedly announced at dinner that she had devoured ‘The Magic Faraway Tree’ that afternoon; the special treat that was intended to keep her busy for the whole of the holidays.
Re-discovering my love of running over the past year reminds me of the little girl who trained to run the Ballarat Courier Classic, a 17.2 km running race, that she entered with her mother, aunt and uncle; the little girl who, in the face of her mother’s last minute concerns about allowing her to do it, insisted that she had trained and was therefore entitled to attempt it; the little girl who, although very slowly, ran the whole way and felt enormously proud of herself for finishing it.
Hiking in the mountains connects me to the little girl who walked the Overland Track in Tasmania with her parents, the youngest in the group we were hiking with; the little girl who, carrying a backpack more than half her height, was completely captivated and exhilarated by the entire experience and has loved connecting with nature ever since.
Are there things you love doing as adult that connect you to the child you once were?