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!