For Christmas in 2003, a friend gave me a low-end (yet more than adequate) GPS receiver. I had been talking about wanting to get into this new geeky outdoor hobby called geocaching, but the cost of even a low-end GPS receiver was more than I could manage at the time. She took pity on me, and it has been a gift that keeps on giving.
Over the years since then, my enthusiasm has waned as the availability of accessible and not-found-by-me caches dwindled in my area. Also, other projects began consuming my "free" time, such as writing for Blogcritics, and it became more difficult for me to find the energy and time to get out into nature and hunt for elusive cache containers. However, I have since relocated, and after reading Jeannette Cézanne's book, Open Your Heart With Geocaching, I have a renewed sense of excitement and anticipation for the game.
The Open Your Heart series of books by DreamTime Publishing was started by Meg Bertini as a means of exploring a variety of interests and hobbies in a way that would connect individuals to the world around them and allow for deeper spiritual meaning. The series includes other topics such as specific sports, fine arts, pets, and other common activities. Judging by the submission guidelines, it looks like anyone who can write passionately and authoritatively about their interests and has a proficient grasp of basic grammar rules has a good chance of having their proposal accepted for publication, so it may be worth keeping a eye out for future titles in the series.
At first I scoffed at the idea that a game/hobby that uses high-tech satellites to find cheap plastic containers could also be a spiritual or centering activity. My experience with serious geocachers so far has made the activity more of a competition (both with others and with oneself) than anything that could enhance ones mental and spiritual wellbeing. However, I tried to set aside my prejudices and read the book for what it is, and I found myself surprised to realize that by the end, it had changed my outlook on geocaching.
Cézanne has poured herself and her world into this book. The language is conversational and flows easily from point to point. She approaches geocaching less from the geeky/techie perspective, and more from the outdoor enthusiast perspective. For her, caching is less about the destination as it is about the journey. I think this is a perspective that is often lost amid the crowing and strutting by those who play for the numbers.
This is a book I would recommend to new or potential geocachers who haven't yet been corrupted, or to those who are burnt out by the competition and arguments. It's just the sort of kick in the pants one needs to gain the perspective that will increase one's enjoyment of geocaching and simply exploring some place new.