"Familiar or not, getting outside and into nature has a way of shaking up one's insides"
There is something so invigoratingly-uplifting about spending time in our wild outdoors, pounding the sometimes concrete-and-loose-stone-d, sometimes grass, other times bare-as-it-was-born earth with the slap-tread-stomp of our footsteps. Familiar or not, getting outside and into nature has a way of shaking up one's insides - tugging loose the knots of worry, pain, or bored-out-of-your-mind frustration that can appear when a particular way of living (a way you aren't entirely enamoured with) becomes routine – or turning one’s day (or, as is often my case, frown) upside down.
When the sun comes out, an excited 'could it be?' escapes my (taught, pursed) lips, and a small smile spreads, upturning corners and birthing happy-to-see-you eyes. My day takes on a different kind of feeling - from one that has settled itself into the now accustomed-to soft sigh of 'this again' to an amped-up roar of a 'let's make today happen!' peppered with tingling toes, heart knock-knock-knocking, and an insatiable thirst for life. When the sun comes out, I pack up my bag (camera nestled deep inside), inhale the stale, and exhale an almighty gust of wind that loops itself under my arms and drives my feet forward, catapulting me out the door.
"I slipped quietly between the shadows of towering trees, my footsteps soft and forgiving"
On Wednesday, yellow-hot, ‘can you forgive me for the grey?’ rays met my eyes closed, tilted-towards-the-sky face, beckoning me to join the outside-my-window world with its summer promise of music-to-my-ears bird chirrups and the sweet smells of warmed-through air.
I took to the pavements with a gusto-and-a-half, the heart on my sleeve offering up smiles and murmurs of joy and happiness. Along I shuffled (my steps slow to soak up the surroundings), enjoying the company of nature’s most rewarding-for-the-eyes palette of blues and greens and flashes of jewel hues that decorated bushes, trailed along walls, crawled up the sides of buildings, and darted across fields of grass.
After a magical encounter – when the air hummed with a heady mixture of breathless wonder and hold-my-gaze curiosity – I slipped quietly between the shadows of towering trees, my footsteps soft and forgiving, stealing glimpses of the yellowed-façade, and breathing in the silence (that was occasionally punctuated by children’s grown-from-the-belly laughter), my camera lens tallying up the moments-after-moments that my eyes – alert and awakened – darted between.
And then…hope blossomed – its petals unfurling within my chest, relieving the weight that had buried itself deep, restricting the room to breathe – and I felt something inside of me shift, felt the worries that had flooded my body – seeped into my blood – begin to dissipate and expel themselves from my skin where the sun touched. I stood, in that moment, feeling comforted. Happy. My mind a whir-a-minute machine of thoughts and ideas and what-could-be’s.
So much promise.
What does getting out in the sunshine mean to you? Are you one for warm weather, or does rain-drenched skin, cool to the bone, appeal more?