Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A reminder to connect

You would think I would know it by now.

Know it, remember it, and practice it every day, no matter what. But it fades from my mind quickly, which is kind of a shame.

I should know by now that connecting with the earth is the thing that sets my mind right. After a stressful day at work (or, conversely, a less than stimulating day on the job), coming home and just walking around the property, slowly and deliberately, with my focus on the trees, the ground, the sky, the birds - it is enough to bring me up from wherever else I have been during the day. To bring me up to clearing thinking, calmer being. I do know this, but something about today's time outside made it really =click= in my head.

Today I came home and walked a simple loop through the woods and down the driveway, stopping to notice ice cycles clinging to moss, to ponder at the distribution of the trees, to check in with our ailing rhododendron, to examine some arboreal damage, to survey the lackluster leaves of the mullein plants. I heard the calls of 3 distinct Barred Owls, hooting back and forth. Mating season should be under way soon. I talked to that rhododendron, touched its leaves, looked for signs that it might actually make it through to bloom this spring (the odds are not good, unfortunately), and then I gave it some love vibes and blew it a kiss - maybe that will help it. I picked up a piece of Aspen bark that was left behind from the tree top that came down, appreciating the beauty of its color and texture - no artist's palette could be more perfect.


All of this took 10 minutes or less. Such simple actions, such little time - but the benefits were immeasurable. I came into the house feeling renewed, no longer feeling drained from the day. No dragging my feet about getting the woodstove going, making some dinner for myself, doing the dishes, preparing tomorrow's lunch. And would you look at that - I'm actually inspired to make a blog post for the first time in many weeks.

So I have to make a commitment to myself to truly spend more time outside, connecting. I know it will be easier come spring - as things come alive, the outdoors become so much more inviting! While the weather is cold and crappy, though, I know this will be harder to do, and so it will be that much more important to make the effort. I encourage you to give it a try too, if you're not already. I wish us luck!

12 comments:

KaHolly said...

And Heather, honey, spring is just around the corner! Thanks for the reminder to "get outdoors". I am not a fan of the cold and am guilty of holing myself up indoors, too. Tomorrow. And I'll think of you. ~karen

Heather said...

Karen - Yes, spring soon, please! In the meantime, let's get out there!

Ginnymo said...

I enjoy nature from my window but I might go out tomorrow..I'll go from the door to my car and hope I don't have to shovel any fresh snow that is supposed to hit us at noon...Only an inch or two though. I'll stop to look at the little pine tree out there to see if any birds are in it. That's about the extent of my outings heather..Ha! Ha! Enjoy your nature. Even your piece of bark is neat!

Baby Birder said...

I love your way with words and how you can write exactly what I'm thinking too! I've been craving out-of-doors time lately too, and keep meaning to go to the park to take a walk (because the trails there are paved, and our property is on a hill and a sponge right now, so every time i take a step i'm afraid i'll fall on my tush!). That's it, that's what I need, too. To get outside. Thank you :)

The Early Birder said...

Just the ticket Heather to calm the soul. I spent a few hours today just pottering around our small space and monitoring the sign of life poking through the soil. FAB.

Shelley said...

Sounds like the perfect day to me Heather! Like you - I always feel refreshed after spending a day out in nature. I'm looking forward to spring and getting my kayak out and going exploring.

Meg said...

Wow. I was just thinking of you when I spent time outside this morning . Are the vibes flowing or what? : ) I went for a walk in the woods this morning and it was just gorgeous. I actually loved winter for a moment. And I watched a tree bending in the wind and thought about your exhortation to go hug one every once in awhile. It made me smile and feel really good inside. Thanks.

Heather said...

Ginny - I know you are limited, and I know you get plenty of nature connection right from your window. Whatever you can do... that's what's right for you!

Kristen - Uh-huh, I know exactly what you mean about the spongey ground. We are at the beginning of what I call "mud season." Get thee to the park, then!

Frank - Yes, life in the soil - I'm looking forward to that! I know it's already there, but... you know what I mean!

Shelley - I'm looking forward to getting the kayaks out, too. I really want to spend more time on the water this year!

Meg - Awww, you're so sweet. Yes, I suppose the vibes ARE flowing! The question is, did you hug the tree? ;)

Erica Houskeeper said...

Hi Heather, a great reminder to us all to get out there and connect with nature. Nice post -- thank you!

Heather said...

Hi Erica - I'm glad you enjoyed this one!

Meg said...

Yes, of course, I hugged the tree. And then the others got jealous and I had to put an end to it--cause there were a lot of them around : )

Heather said...

Meg - Hee hee, I know what you mean. I like to think the trees aren't stingy, though, and I hope that the tree I hug passes my love on through its roots to its neighbors.