"In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt."
Lucy, my feline companion who shares with me an upper-story apartment with only a balcony for outdoor space, knows this. She has adapted.
I seem to have forgotten it. Through the whole of this past winter I spent nearly all my time indoors. And this spring I’ve found it challenging to get back to a daily routine of walking in nature. What used to be my go-to meditation practice – forty minutes on the trail of a neighborhood park, so easy to fit into my day because it was my favorite part of the day – seems to have become a fond memory.
What is it about the outdoors that calls to us? In the springtime, for me, it is the warm sun against my skin, my cheek caressed by my own hair, the grass springing beneath my feet, the sweet and pungent scents carried by the breeze, the chirrups and caws of birds inviting me to play with them a game of Can You Find Me?, the amazing colors and shapes and patterns all around me that make me want to join in this grand symphony, and the promise of a close encounter with some wondrous creature if only I stay long enough.
Choose once again
I haven’t given up on smelling like dirt. Each and every day I get to “choose once again” how I want to spend my time. This concept is such a comfort to me; I came across it decades ago:
"Trials are but lessons that you failed to learn presented once again, so where you made a faulty choice before you now can make a better one, and thus escape all pain that what you chose before has brought to you." A Course in Miracles: the Text
Today – throughout the day, even – I get to “choose once again” to walk in the park. And I promise myself that by tonight, I will need a shower to wash the dirt off of me!