I spent the early part of the morning, after I’d loaded the kids off to school, stressed. I could feel the tension rising in my chest as I searched my home office for the packet of photographs my birthfather had sent me months ago, then, when I found them, how to scan the ones I wanted from my printer onto the computer.
While I was looking for the photographs, I shifted through piles of debris, hardly giving these stored mementos a second glance in my panic to find the photos. Instead, there were the barely perceptible pauses as I catalogued the contents for later review. As my mind wandered to many places, I kept hearing the voice inside telling me to get outside. Downstairs the banana bread I had made for my son’s class was sitting on the counter cooling, and the voice urged, Why don’t you walk it to school?
As I showered, having given up on my efforts to scan the recovered photographs, the voice kept coming back. I thought about the time it would take (the school is only about a mile from my house), and whether the dogs would protest. But, as I sliced and wrapped the bread, popping a heal in my mouth to make sure it would pass the taste bud test of 7 and 8 year olds, I thought, What the heck, I’m going to walk.
The dogs barely noticed, as I wafted by them with my bag of bread and quickly opened and closed the front door. They knew, as I did, they’d still get their daily allotment of 3 walks/day. It’s a rare day when they don’t.
There’s something about stepping from the enclosure of a building into the open air that has an immediate effect of lifting one’s mood. Well, at least for me. Especially on a fine, spring day. Instantly, I felt lighter and the tension began pouring out of my cells. I had, I realized, through the urging of Spirit, given myself a gift.
Even though I stayed on the roadside, I was surrounded by bird-song and that showy abundance of chlorophyl one finds only in spring and summer. There’s a reason why so many people go into the cathedral of nature to find themselves, and to heal. Green is the color that vibrates from the healthy heart, it’s the aura of a healer, and it’s the expression of life in nature. Unless one is metaphorically asleep, you cannot help but feel the uplifting effects of being in the presence of plants and trees.
As I walked to the school, I inhaled the color green with each breath, and took in the gifts Nature had to offer me. On the way home, I asked Spirit for a plastic bag (an easy request, as they’re often tangled in the undergrowth of trees), and found one minutes later caught in the hands of a small shrub. The roadside was full of discarded debris, and I began piling soda and beer cans, disposable coffee cups, cigarette packages and butts, and all manner of plastic inside my too small bag.
If I hadn’t taken the extra time to walk to my son’s school on this beautiful day, I would not have seen the black bird fly across my path. I would not have taken that deep breath to absorb the gift of its energy, and in turn, hear its message of reassurance, You will find your way. If I had driven my car, I would not have paused, while retrieving bits of styrofoam, to seen the pair of orioles spreading sunshine through the pines. And, I would not have paused beside the fire pond to watch the light dance on water.