(from Shaniya, age 11)
This is a hard one! I believe that a powerful and repeated experience was when my family (three children and often their friends and our friends) would go back-packing in upper Yosemite. Magnificent area, huge trees, lakes and rivers, deer, and two bears! We did this for many years and I learned a great deal from these adventures, such as how not to complain if it was cold or rainy. How to put together the best meals we could think of with the limited food we carried on our backs. How to go straight up a steep mountain trail that was like a stairwell. How to love eating lunch by a stream with your boots off and your aching feet in cold water. Many bits and fragments of these trips have ended up in my books which makes me know how important these experiences were to me. Good question. Did it make you think how you would answer it?