About two years ago I started working at an environmental education center. Since my job requires me to lead children on outdoor adventures even on days when rain and snow dominate the forecast, I’ve come to embrace a new golden rule. There is no bad weather, just poor choices in clothing.
My wardrobe has evolved and I am happier for it. Being cocooned in the right clothing makes all the difference. I now own waterproof hiking boots, a light weight rain coat, a winter coat with removable lining and a turquoise polar fleece that I adore. Of course hats, gloves and wool socks are also a must. The cost of these items I feel is offset by the pleasure they bring.
Being outdoors is a natural stress reliever. No matter where you live be it in a rural or urban setting taking a walk can turn into a mind clearing meditation. While walking take the time to tune into your five senses. By doing this the chatter in your head will stop.
Use your eyes. Pick a color and search for it as you walk.
Smell the air. Take in huge lung filling breaths of fresh air.
Touch things like, tree bark, park benches, rocks, your own clothes. Feel the textures.
Listen for bird calls, wind, and people talking. If you are lucky you might come across silence, which is a humbling experience.
Lastly taste. This one is tricky for a lot of reasons. Am I right? I suggest taking a stick of gum with you. For those of you that want to go all the way in connecting with the environment I suggest slug licking. (No joke, this is a thing where I work) Native Americans used slugs as a pain reliever for toothaches. Slugs secrete a substance on their bodies that will numb the human tongue. A defense mechanism used to keep them from becoming someone’s dinner I suspect. If you try slug licking do it with a friend, such an adventure needs a wingman!
If you give slug licking a try, please report back to this gum chewer. I would love to hear all about your experience. The comment box is open!
Don’t let the weather stop you from taking a walk. Remember, there is no bad weather, just poor choices in clothing.
by Jill Eudaly
Photo by Jill Eudaly