Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Natural Order of Things

If things are hard, and sometimes they are, C. is always quick to remind me to just drop it all and go outside.
As far as advice goes, it's the best. Come rain or shine, nothing fills you with as much quiet joy than even a short walk among, trees, plants, animals big and small. It's not so much that your worries and cares fall away, than that you become acutely aware of how small you really are, how insignificant your cares.

You are instantly reminded of your place in the order of things.
In nature your senses grow to encompass further and wider, yet more keen to notice even the tiniest details. The spring's first bumble bee,  or a shooting star from the center of the galaxy.
While you walk, you use your most primordial skills to observe your surroundings; smell, feel, instinct.
There's treasure everywhere; a hundred thousand barnacles under an old dock, sea cucumbers like floating lanterns, bones, sea stars, screeching eagles. Sticks with perfect crooks.
Thoughts and ideas and half-buried memories and knowledge surface without cajoling. You remember that snakes can swim that otters brake clamshells on rocks then float around eating, that vultures need to catch thermals to travel between islands and that right now they are somewhere in California on their travels.
You feel sneaky and mysterious and jaunty in turns, you feel brave and reckless, climbing and balancing and spying and searching. You feel like a kid.
A part of the landscape. Another warm-blooded mammal.
It's too easy to forgot that houses are not our natural habitat, they're just temporary shelter for when we're too weary and weather-beaten to be out in the elements. Our element.
Go. Outside.


  1. It was easy go outside on a glorious day like today! Sun, glorious, sun.

    1. are you gonna come and enjoy it with me soon?

  2. Ay, you know I've got this!

    Love you.


  3. The weather here is awful, and nature feels very far away, but I still needed to hear this. Beautiful post.

  4. I too needed this reminder today...
    wonderful words and pictures, thank you.

  5. my weekends with my equine companion spent above the treelines on ridges looking over the bay are the most precious thing in my life, and today was another one of those epic days. honestly, there is nothing better.

  6. Myöhästyneet syntymäpäivä onnittelut! Olet oikeassa,ulkoilu varsinkin koskemattomassa luonnossa selvittää pään ja laittaa usein asiat oikeille kohdilleen.

  7. true words of wisdom :) D. usually tells me to drink a glass of water too, he's cute :)

  8. ughhhh please write a book, and include pictures, you are too inspiring, poetic, and mesmerizing to not share with the whole (reading) world. your words are the truest truth for me. it works wonders! even in a backyard encircled with pines, two tired nursing mamas, my sister and i took sweet refuge in the sunlight and birdsong this past weekend and were much revived.

  9. This is my motto too! I will be having the worst day, and then I think to myself, "have I been outside today?" If the answer is no, all it takes is stepping out (if only to the back yard) to improve my mood. Yesterday my boys and I spent all afternoon in the vegetable garden (okay, the mud) just digging for worms and soaking up what little sunshine there was. The perfect afternoon if you ask me!

  10. so true! beautiful words and photos :D

  11. Man, I feel like this written just for me. I've been in the doldrums these past few weeks and my reaction has been to bury myself indoors. This has only resulted in stifling and stagnation. Today I'm going to go outside. Thank you.

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