At the moment, my body is comfortable inside my cozy house, but my spirit longs to be outdoors in nature. Whenever I step outside, inhale the fresh air, and feel the warmth of the sun on my face, I instantly feel a little better, a little more connected to the life that extends beyond my own.
In fact, while my physical home is in New Jersey, I consider my spiritual home to be in the middle of a lake in New Hampshire, as I paddle alone in my kayak on a beautiful summer’s day. The lake water is clear and fresh and the air is pure. I can see fish swimming below me, loons gliding on the surface, and eagles soaring above. The quiet is spectacular. Beyond the shoreline, I can see mostly mountains covered in trees that are lush with leaves. Some houses are around the lake, mostly set back from the water, and that gives me the feeling that the place is not deserted, but rather that people are in balance with nature. On the lake, I feel free, independent, and at peace with nature…and at peace with myself. I feel the presence of what is meaningful beyond me and my concerns. Is it God, The Great Spirit, Mother Nature, or some other great force? I don’t know what to call it, but on the lake, life is connected, balanced, and good.
With these feelings about nature, it is no surprise that I work outdoors to teach and coach people in the spring and fall. I enjoy being outdoors in all sorts of weather, and I want to encourage others to immerse themselves in the outdoor environment, just for the joy of it. I hold my classes in mostly sunny or cloudy weather, so I am not stretching people far from their comfort zones. However, for me –rain, snow, or shine – there is beauty in all of it.
So saying, I’ll wrap up my writing, put on a coat, and go for a walk. I hope that someday, you’ll join me.