“Go outside, to the fields, enjoy nature
and the sunshine, go out and try to recapture the happiness in yourself
and in God. Think of all the beauty that's still left in and around you
and be happy.”
November 19, 2003
Sometimes, life truly does stink. There is no way to sugarcoat it. Things go bad, and, maybe then they get even worse. Or, maybe they don’t actually get worse, but just stay bad. Or maybe they aren’t bad at all, just…frustrating.
And that is when I head outside.
When I was searching my extensive quote collection for somebody who had done a better job of saying what I wanted to say about the healing power of nature, I was expecting to find quotes by the likes of Thoreau. Not Anne Frank. Deprived of the outdoors, she probably understood more than most people what fresh air and nature can do for a person.
I have so much available to me at my fingertips, these days I have a problem getting around to stepping outside. If I want to know what the temperature is, I go to the computer rather than stick my nose out the door. If it weren’t for my camera, I would never venture outside.
Sunday I was coming back from the farm. It was beginning to get misty out, and I had a feeling I might get some interesting pictures by the lake. So, when I reached the lake, I pulled over and walked along the shore taking photographs. It was ghostly still, the kind of stillness only fog can bring. The whitecaps on its surface had been frozen into silence. No birds flew up, scolding me for intruding. It was lonely and barren…and peaceful. I walked and snapped pictures till my fingers were numb, then continued on my way, refreshed.
Then there was Tuesday night’s sunset. I collect sunsets. I’ve taken thousands of photos of sunsets. I never tire of them. I was coming home from shopping, and it looked like there might be an interesting one, so as soon as I got home I grabbed my camera and headed out. A few minutes and a few frozen fingers later, I had a dozen more photos for my sunset collection.
And I started thinking about the last time I was unemployed and job hunting. I would walk for miles in the evening, thinking, hoping, praying, just working at getting my head straight and walking off the constant tension. Of course, then it was summer, and walking was more pleasant. Still, I have winter clothes. There is no reason I couldn’t bundle up and go walking. It’s not that I’m feeling particularly bad or depressed right now, just…stagnating. Frozen in place like the whitecaps on the lake.
Yes, I definitely think it’s time to go for a nice long walk. With camera in hand, of course!