This fall has been particularly gray and wet in Norfolk. To give you some idea, here’s what the Norfolk Creek that runs on the property looked like recently after a few days of steady rain:
Here’s what the creek usually looks like:
We also had our first wintery mix of the season this past Tuesday, too:
I happen to like winter. The peace and solitude of the season nourishes my soul. Then there’s the fun and magic of a newly fallen snow. Winter can be simply wonderful!
Yet, I also love the sun and I’m pretty sure I’m solar powered. So on Thursday when we had blue skies with fluffy white clouds and a sun that peaked out every once in a while, I wanted to get out of the house and enjoy the feel of sunshine on my face.
I didn’t realize it at first that getting out of the house is what I wanted. I sat at the kitchen table for a long time Thursday morning feeling like something wasn’t quite right. My husband and I ate breakfast and then with a whole morning stretching in front of me I thought I would get down to writing. But something prevented me from getting out my computer and opening up one of my writing projects.
After wasting time on Facebook for a little bit, I forced myself to get up. I headed to the shower thinking the water would energize me.
Leaving the table ended up being the best choice I could have made, because once upstairs I realized: I needed to get out of the house! Sure, I had been several places throughout the earlier part of the week, but because of the rain I limited a lot of my activity. I didn’t even crack 4,000 steps on Tuesday. Monday and Wednesday were hardly any better.
I also had the great idea to take a dog with me. What an extraordinary afternoon:
I reaped so many benefits from that hour and a half – I felt joyful, energized, creative, and inspired. It was exactly what I needed and being outside served as a good reminder that for me, nature really is the best medicine.
I kept this idea forefront in my mind Friday, too. Another gloriously sunny day, though we’re also experiencing record colds for the second week in November. I decided not to let that stop me from walking to someone’s house approximately 1.5 miles away for some tea and conversation.
A few people expressed concern that I’d be walking in 20-ish degree weather. But I had a hat, scarf, gloves, long underwear, and a feeling of excitement to be out in the sunshine moving around. I left with a spring in my step and a smile on my face.
Besides, the distance wasn’t that far. I once headed out on the Las Vegas strip to walk four miles to a handstand yoga class a Whole Foods was offering. The concierge, bellman, and doorman all told me NOT to walk. I said various forms of ”pshah,” to the them – I could walk four miles no problem. Didn’t they know I got an A in my walking class in college?
I quickly learned a four-mile walk in the desert, even in April, is right up there on the list of stupid things I’ve done, especially when you have no water, don’t wear a hat, and forget extra sunscreen. I’d put that walk slightly below breaking my ankle while chasing after a bird on the ancient Inca trail in the Andes Mountains of Peru and then thinking I could walk the injury off. I felt pretty confident walking 1.5 miles in the cold, on a populated path, while completely bundled up, wouldn’t even compare. And I was right! Looks like my intuition is finally getting better.
A little over halfway on my cold-weather sojourn, I received an IM from my husband: Hey babe. Are you cold? My response: Exhilarated!
I made it to my destination no problem and even managed to snag some quality time with a dog. His name is Max and don’t tell Tobey, Smudge, or Faith, but I LOVE HIM!
What another wonderful day. It’s amazing what a little sunshine and time outdoors can do for the spirit.
As we head into more wet weather before the snow arrives, I’m going to be more mindful of how I can work with the season to stay connected to nature. As long as I take proper precautions, there’s no reason I can’t be outside when it’s rainy and cold. I shouldn’t let those conditions stop me. The same indomitable spirit that overcomes me when it’s sunny is still there when it’s raining. I just might have to dig a little deeper to bring that spirit forth.