“Outdoorsy” is not an adjective I’d use to describe myself. And yet… Some of my most cherished memories are of being outside in Nature.
Perhaps we’ve conflated the notion of the outdoors with the activities of outdoors — suggesting that being out of doors impliess doing rather than, at least some of the time, being.
The other day, I had to do a writing exercise that entailed listing 100 favorite memories. It was remarkable how many of them took place outdoors. There were a couple memories of running in the rain and cross-country skiing, now long in my past. But my list also included plenty of times writing on the beach or on the lip of a canyon, recollections of reading under a tree or alongside a creek. And oh! Outdoors winter hot-chocolate!
Gradually, I have come to understand that exercise is something I coax myself into with healthy doses of Nature’s caresses. Running in the pool, walking in the lake, atrolling on the rail trail. Because I want to be active through all the seasons of my life, I take myself in hand and exercise. Nature encourages me, it gently nudges me outside to enjoy its embrace.
Often, it’s simply the joy of Nature that invites me out: campfires under the full moon, lunch on a patio, reading on my patio in the front of the house.
I am a creature of this Earth. Continually, I find myself mystified and thrilled by the turnings of the year. They give me pause, literally stop me in my tracks. One moment I am moving along, and suddenly, I stand still to notice that the air smells like spring, or the days are starting later (and so am I!).
Each season contains its own Peace. Sometimes when people talk or you watch advertising, you begin to think that the only days of value in a year are the winter holidays and summer. We’ve reduced the grandeur of a twelve-month year to a little less than three months. Often those months that focus the greatest opportunity for retail sales and Hallmark greetings rather than on the stunning beauty of Winter’s wonderland. It’s so sad.
Wouldn’t it be better use of time, beauty, and abundance, to explore the wonders of every day and every season?
Peacemaking is complex. It includes every moment of every day, every week, and every month throughout the year. Living as a Peacemaker, in full awareness of the seasons’ turnings offers you many more sacred moments to explore. It also reminds us on a daily basis, how important, how sacred and how in need of our love this planet is. As with all loving relationships, care and tending is essential. The magic of the out-of-doors can encourage us to pay attention and to open our hearts to the needs of our planet and its inhabitants. Mind the seasons, my dears, and they will thrill you into Peace.
Salaam, Shalom, Peace. Blessed be.