Nature and I have never been on what you’d call a first name basis. I enjoy walks along creek beds looking for crawdads. I like sitting outside by the ocean in the mornings watching the sunrise, cradling a cup of coffee. That’s really been it. I appreciate nature’s beauty when I encounter it but I never think to go looking for it. It’s become a standing joke among my husband’s family. I grew up reading; they never sit still. They play sports, and walk the neighborhood for exercise, and generally go outside a lot. I believe that a day spent curled up under a blanket, reading is a good day.
That’s slowly changing though. I generally understand that the kids need time outside to run and play and imagine and exercise. I take them to the park after school some days when it’s nice out, and let them out into the (fully fenced in) backyard whenever they want to go. I’ll even bring my book out there some days. More often than not, my husband still has to remind me to go out, but I always enjoy it when I feel the sun on my face or see the stars.
As a child, I loved being outdoors – swimming all day and watching the stars at night, or riding my bike with my dad and sister. Then I started reading in earnest and worrying about being pale (it was the aesthetic in my crowd). No more outdoors for me. I am no longer worried about my complexion. I have two young, energetic boys. I started gardening. All of this has conspired to get me outside. Mosquitoes are unfortunate, but I love watching butterflies flit, and beetles crawl. I loved watching my plants’ growth explode seemingly overnight.
I feel a little like our inside cat who has started venturing, cautiously, outside. HE spends a few minutes blinking, getting used to the bright sunshine, ventures out as far as the deck, suns himself for a little while, then saunters back in, happy. That’s about my level of outdoorsiness at the moment. That’s ok though, at least I’m getting out and about.