Most people don’t understand the Bob Marley quote
“Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.”
and for a long time I was one of them. Until recently I hated being out in the rain and would do almost anything to avoid it.
I went for a hike with a friend and we knew there was a chance of showers but we opted to go anyway. About halfway through our trek it started to mist then drizzle. It actually enhanced the feeling of being out in Nature as you could hear the rain on the trees and see the ground changing color with the dampness. It actually felt like I had been transported to Cape Cod–all that was missing was the sound of the waves hitting a beach.
Even a rainy day has its own beauty
I’ve been working on moving plants away from the house and had started tidying things up by framing out the adjusted area with landscaping blocks….but had run short. This morning I was determined to finish this project before working on anything else. So, off to Lowes I went despite the threat of a storm. Yes, of course it started to drizzle the closer I go to the store but it was nice to be in the garden area with the light rain–the colors of the plants seemed more vibrant. The smells of the roses and blooming shrubs was very potent. And there was hardly anyone there so I could just meander and look to my hearts content. Well I made my purchases and worked my way back home “accidentally” stopping at a local plant place to pick up some garden plants (3 kinds of tomatoes!!) and a snack of fresh snap peas.
By now the rain had moved back home with me but I decided to work on the landscaping anyway. It was actually refreshing to work in the light rain instead of being all sweaty with the bright sun beating down on me. I’m quite sure the plants being moved also appreciated the kiss of rain until they were replanted elsewhere.
So, what does the quote mean to me? I guess it means that I opened myself up to new experiences and let myself think of things in terms of pleasure instead of an annoyance. Instead of just getting wet, I could actually take joy in the rain drops themselves….and its a good thing.
I’ve always been an old soul. Even as a child I felt more comfortable with older people than kids my own age. Its gotten better as I’ve grown older but I sometimes feel “out of sync” with the times we live in.
I’m not sure if it has to do with the fact that my parents were older than most, but my mom was 33 when she had me back in the sixties. My oldest sister was actually pregnant with her first at the same time so I grew up with her daughter (my niece) from the age of 8 months of age. My parents also provided childcare and then foster care for children when I was growing up so there was always someone who needed “mothering” and I guess I stepped up to the task of being a second mother.
I know I am not alone but sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong time period. I long for a time of simpler lifestyles and a time before “multi-tasking” was considered something to be achieved and praised. I’m not saying I want to give up the personal freedoms and advances that we have fought hard for but I do wish we didn’t feel compelled to ‘be all and do all’ for everyone.
Maybe its an illusion in my mind but it seems to me that people were happier and more satisfied in earlier eras; they seemed to be satisfied with what they had, generally speaking, and not striving to constantly ‘trade-up’ belongings like cars and electronics. You made do with what you had until it no longer worked and then got the new one.
I’m working hard to “reduce, reuse, recycle” things wherever and whenever I can. We often buy from and donate to consignment and thrift shops. Someone will always have a use for “hand-me-downs”, it makes no sense to just dump things because it no longer appeals to your style or fit your lifestyle. This is somewhat hard for me as I did grow up with a ‘save everything because you might need it’ kind of childhood…and many times it was true and that bottle you saved came in handy.
I guess what I am really trying to do is get back to a simple time in my life where I can enjoy the things I like to do such as gardening, sewing/quilting and outdoor exercise and be able to concentrate on that activity in its entirety rather than jumping to the next task on the list. To be able to be satisfied with the things I do have and ignore advertising for something “new and improved”. To live day by day since tomorrow is not guaranteed.
Sorry for the bit of rambling but the thoughts just kind emerged on their own today.
It seems to me that you can be friends with someone you work with but never quite attain a friendship; we can chat at work about everyday things but how often do we take the time to know people beyond the work place?
I’ve worked in my current place of employment for a very long time–basically since 1986 with a very short period between 2008 and 2010 where I had resigned to regroup. When I returned I worked my way around the hospital meeting and re-meeting people I had known over the years. It really was nice to be remembered by so many people I had worked with in the course of 23 years!! But my heart kept returning to my current unit (where I had worked for 10 years before taking a break) and I became a per diem RN for that unit specifically. I have to say I really do love working with my ‘old time’ staff so much! There is a comfort level there that is hard to express; they’ve seen me in various stages of my Life …and still like me. But still, work place friendships are hard to maintain without effort.
In the past it would’ve been hard for me to break that barrier as I had small children and husband who also worked night shifts; its hard to reciprocate a friendship when you don’t have the ability to invite people over your home. Unfortunately sleep is a priority that must also be considered and given priority. My children are now older and no longer need chauffeuring or ‘child care’ and my husband now works a day job. Because I work nights 2 shifts a week I can spend any of the week days hiking or being outdoors and still have time to work on my home.
This is where the hiking has made a difference. We are spending time in a place where there is no deadline to finish all your tasks at work so you can leave on time. There are no interruptions to conversations to answer bells and phones. There is just the quiet found in Nature and the sounds of friendships strengthening. I am learning more about the person and less about the co-worker. I am hearing the funny little stories and about the surprisingly similar paths we have traveled that somehow just don’t fit in a workplace. And I am totally enjoying it! I am learning to break open my own shell and reveal more about the “who” I am and not just the face I present to the world.
Sometimes its scary to open yourself up to Friendship; it really does take a huge leap of Faith and Hope that it will be returned. But I’ll never have it if I don’t leave myself open to it.
One of the other ways that I have been re-energizing as well as an active meditation has been with hiking. Whether its by myself or with the group I started there is a mindfulness to joining with Nature that I cannot explain fully.
Depending on who I am with it is either an exhilarating cardio workout, full of rock scrambles and pumping heart, or more of a quieter more focused on my surroundings and the sounds of nature. Both are perfect. Depending on my mood and energy levels I may opt for one more than the other but both have their place in my life.
The high impact, heart pounding climbs and descents prove to me just how strong I can be; mentally challenging since I don’t like heights/ open climbs. But also physically since its not something I’ve done consistently in a while. I no longer enjoy the gym-rat mode of being active; its just not who I am at this time of my life but I do value the impact of how it prepares us for the challenges that being active outdoors can present us. The more strenuous climbs allow me to focus on the feelings of my breath, my heart and the strength of my muscles while the repetitive motions allows my mind to wander and think greater thoughts since my mind somehow gets more empty when I concentrate on my balance and movement.
The quieter slower paced walks are actually more of a challenge for me; its difficult for me to slow down instead of full speed ahead. I recently went on a hike with several co-workers; 2 retired ladies and one I work with presently. We also had one of the retired ladies daughters as a guide since she works in the environmental field. In the beginning I felt somewhat anxious to keep moving but I gradually became drawn in to looking at different plant species and looking around me in general. Ironically, once my camera came out there were times they waited for me instead of the opposite. Its funny how bringing out my camera allowed me to narrow my focus to individual plants and still maintain the observance of all around me; the tallness of the trees, the cool air, the blueness of the sky.
Whichever I choose to do, I do know one thing: it is good for my heart. Both mentally and physically I find myself recharged when I am hiking. The breathing of fresh clean air and the repetitive movement of challenging myself calms my heart while strengthening it, something I will be grateful for in years to come.
These photos have been taken by myself, please take courtesy in not sharing except with permission.
It seems like forever since I’ve been compelled to “put words to paper”; I’ve had so much going on in my mind with thoughts to think and things to plan that I have not taken the time to slow down and actually think them.
With the more consistent weather here in NY I find myself outside more and more. It is a good thing. Nature provides its own kind of meditation; in Nature everything happens according to its own time table—things cannot be rushed to grow or multi-tasked to get more done. It happens when it is supposed to. There is life and there is death according to the cycles of Nature.
I find myself working more on a bed that I had started last year, and despite the physical work involved–or maybe because of it- I find my joy and peacefulness increasing. I am transplanting flowers and plants from other beds around my house in preparations for future projects. Some of the plants are at the end of their life cycle and I save what I can. Other plants seemed to spread their roots after removing the competing plants surrounding them. Such is life; sometimes we need to prune and remove the things holding us back for us to grow into what we are supposed to become.
I find my creative juices flowing again in designing the color schemes and placement of plants for a pleasing balance of color and height. For whatever reason my desire to create met a road block over the winter; I have not created anything ‘crafty’ since Christmas. I feel the energy flowing again and it feels like a re-birth. I look outside at my “yard” and I can imagine other kinds of plant beds and areas to develop for relaxing and I am excited by the prospect (by the way–my yard is 8.5 acres–so the reality keeps me realistic).
Is my energy and enthusiasm related to the changing seasons? Quite possibly–I thrive on sunlight and being outside. Whatever the reason, I am grateful for its arrival and the prospect of being creative.
Sometimes one unplanned workout makes the best leaping off point.
I realized yesterday that I was doing the interval runs because I felt that was the next logical step in fitness…but then I realized why it was not working: I don’t have a goal to run a 5K, half or other races. Why was I putting myself into such a funk about running (and not really wanting to) when there are so many other options?
I felt I really needed to do something–anything= to keep myself from becoming inactive…so the treadmill. Ironically, I really enjoyed the “mountain walk” program on the treadmill yesterday because it so resembled my hikes. I LOVE being outside and being in the woods! Granted I am not a hard core hiker but it really is my favorite form of exercise.
So, the point? With so many options for being active, choosing what I love to do makes so much more sense than making myself do what I don’t enjoy and in all likelihood will not continue with. I’m going to plan on the hiking prep and railtrail walking. If I happen to break into a run (just because it feels right) now and then, so much the better.
A very touching memory about “broken hearts”…..but not what you think!
A Broken Heart Healed.
via A Broken Heart Healed.