Cardinals welcome the day serenading anyone listening
Woodpeckers keeping rhythm from tree tops
As the sun paints pastels on the underside of clouds
The cold clear air providing a spacious echo
Green pokes through snow promising hope for the daffodils
Tiny leaves reaching forth from branches
A feast for the senses this early morning
before the sun rises over the horizon
promising Spring unfolding.
Early morning before the sun rises over the horizon is my favorite time of day to be outdoors. It is quiet then and I continue my morning thoughts & considerations as my dog finds her way around the smells of the night. Always, I delight in the magic of early morning as the birds begin their song and I imagine they are welcoming the return of yet another day.
Today, called for a hike into the woods. So off I went. It is a cold April day with a wind chill that bites my cheeks. I keep going — legs moving, arms swinging, and my breath adjusting to both the cold and the pace. As always, the first mile is the hardest as I head up a mile before leveling to a steadier terrain.
Hiking is my ‘go to’ when, not only do I want exercise, I also want to contemplate life, process the complexities of my days, and find myself whole again and cleansed when I return. I always know that my hikes change my perspective on my life which, like everyone, has it’s share of stress and drama. Today, I took a detour through the woods to pause at the edge of a hidden mountaintop lake — gratitude fills me at the simple beauty and awe all around.
Exercise is well known to be even better to allay depression and anxiety for most people. I, personally, find that to be true. Once I get beyond the first mile or twenty minutes I can feel my body and mind let go into a rhythm of more ease and emotionally more centered. For many years, I found this release through swimming and running. Now, hiking and being surrounded by nature is my exercise of choice. I find the meditative experience that accompanies being in nature is what I crave. What is your exercise of choice?