Eyelids shut fast
I used to look at the step count on my phone out of curiosity, when I first started researching walking and also walking all the time. But after a year or so, I stopped -- partly I wanted to go for walks without the phone, but also after a while your body starts to tell you what feels right anyway. It's like rediscovering an old friend you'd forgotten you liked, and then wondering why you've been hanging out with a bunch of demanding and uninteresting bozos for so many years.
"Embarrass/embarrassed/embarrassing." I have to look it up every time. I am frequently embarrassed, so this is a real pain.
It's topping out in the high 40s/low 50s for a few days here in L.A. People are wearing parkas and laying in supplies.
I hope your book comes back to you as a friend this round.
This was so lovely, Chris. I'm not someone eager for spring (or the changing of any other seasons) -- I try to be present and grateful for where I am -- but this morning, my kids have a snow day and I had to drive to work in it, I wasn't feeling particularly loving toward February. There have been some breathtakingly beautiful days lately, though, and I find that, in many ways, all the days are welcome, whatever their condition, because I'm alive here on this gorgeous planet. Thanks for always reminding me of that.
Good luck finalizing your book edits, Chris. How do you survive sending your baby out into the world and getting it back with red ink corrections?
It occurred to me how our ancestors - regardless of skin hue - would laugh at the notion of a list of hours to be spent outdoors each month. I often think of all the animals living their entire lives out there in all kinds of weather.
The best part of being outside is the opportunities to be surprised by awe. Last night, as I drove down the lane to run an errand after supper (begrudgingly), I gasped at the huge moon setting straight ahead of me. Just a sliver of light cupped one lower edge, but somehow the whole disk was illuminated. Plus two bright planets nearby. What a gift!
As I walked in the freshly fallen snow at 12 degrees this morning, I was delighted to see the resident muskrat poking nose and tail above the surface of the water in the still mostly ice-covered pond. February has its charms.
Thanks for reminding us to get out there and enjoy it all, every day, year-round.
"…then two hours later the wind was howling, and snow was blowing sideways…"
Makes me think of being outside, just busy around the place, and suddenly feeling that north wind pushing the latest cold front my way. Watching the horses get fired up, doing their happy dance. It's invigorating in a - stick around, I'm gonna kick your ass kind of way.
I have printed the 1000 Hours Outside graphic and it will go on my fridge when I get home from work. And when I fail at this (which I will, because this is Chicago and I am me), I will be kind to myself and keep trying. And that John Haines poem? Holy fuckoly. Thank you, as always, for all these words, your and others'.
Where we live is far more moderate where almost every day doors are wide open and it's hard to tell the difference between inside and out. Spiders in every corner. Juncos marching across the living room rug. Seriously.
Anyway. This is a beautifully written piece from first clunk and rattle to dirt and rain and wild water.
Oh my gosh. I love this. You've inspired me--I'm putting own my coat and gloves. ❤️
I've been really settling in to late winter/early spring, and trying to enjoy it for what it is – due to one of your previous newsletter! The PNW fog can make me dreary (especially as someone who lived for 25 years in Arizona), but I try to take it as an opportunity to tuck in. I feel like a hibernating creature; snuggling up and resting while the world crinkles about.
I spend so much time outdoors whenever possible. I am fortunate that my life at the moment means I generally have flexibility to take time outside when the sun is out and the temperatures are better—as in, I can rearrange my plans to take advantage of the highs of the day and do indoor stuff when it's colder, cloudy, windy, or snowing heavily. It's a neat idea to actually track the time though! I have noticed that the general idea folks have about how good the weather is or not is not actually based on reality but how much they opt to go out in it.
It’s been very gray this winter in our river valley and the crocuses are at least 3 weeks late in providing hope and a path toward other color. There are fewer songbirds about, the sharp shin hawk has been picking them off and the others have fled. My face aches for sunshine. It will come.
I'm looking forward to your book! And I don't do that often, because writers (myself included) can be an insufferable bunch. Thankfully you are not. Otherwise I wouldn't be reading everything you write.
Be down right hedonistic! I’m stealing that for my next resolution.
I loved all of this of course. I find getting outside - especially on the “bad” weather days - the most essential thing I do to care for myself. When our kids were younger, we went on Sunday morning hikes and told the kids it was church. One Sunday, it was -12 when we got to the trailhead, but we went anyway. The 3yo at the time said her face was frozen about halfway through. Now anytime we’re on a hike and the weather is even remotely rough, they say, “at least it isn’t as bad as that time mom made us go when we almost froze to death!” I love how the supposed bad weather can make for the best memories - and make the blue skies and perfect temps all the sweeter. Thanks for the reminder and motivation, Chris.
Sending good vibes your way for the book edits!
Such a beautiful poem. I love this idea for marking and increasing time outdoors--yes to all of it. Heading outdoors now... ;)
Despite our incredibly gorgeous weather in southern CA, I don’t get out nearly enough and enjoy it. I have to say, though, that it’s the weather itself that sustains me, ultimately -- the Los Angeles light, the Pacific, the breeze itself. Right now we’re being buffeted by an incredible storm -- so much rain! Hail!
Nice, that chart of 1000+ hours outside is pretty great. Note to self: get outside more. It is very possible and my body will be happier. Beautiful writing.