Bumblebees hum while
cows low in a distant field
and I pick berries.
I woke up on this Tuesday fall morning with a stiff back and a million things on my to-do list. I had spent too much time sitting in the last two days: nearly eight hours of lesson planning on Sunday, driving four hours to Pembroke early Monday morning, sitting some more to write a newsletter after I’d finished teaching for the day. 29 drafts of blog posts sat in my WordPress dashboard and a 30th I had handwritten last night over dinner, a chunk of my book to write, a new lesson to plan. I had a lot to tackle today (yeah – not all of that is getting done today. I’m not delusional) and I wanted to tackle it all RIGHT NOW.
Call it procrastination or call it self-care: I spent 45 minutes in the gardens of my Ottawa Valley hosts picking tomatoes and raspberries to bring home to Toronto. It inspired me to change one of the categories I write about from “Outdoor Adventure” to “Outdoors”. If I want you to “Spend More Time Outside” as my tagline suggests, it doesn’t matter to me how you decide to get out and do it.
I may have fallen into the social media trap that every outdoor experience has to be an adventure. We see a lot of that these days especially on Facebook and Instagram. Yes, I get a longer-lasting mental benefit from spending consecutive days in the backcountry, in wilderness. The physical benefit of me actively working the garden this morning – only 45 minutes – loosened up my back, relaxed my shoulders, and elevated my already good mood. That isn’t something to be discounted.
So get out and enjoy the beautiful bounties of fall with me. I will share more of my efforts to spend time outside, particularly from the city. If you’re looking for ideas and inspiration, try Richard Louv’s Vitamin N: The Essential Guide to Nature-Rich Life or The Big Book of Nature Activities by Jacob Rodenburg and Drew Monkman. Both are family-friendly.