Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Slice of Life: Finding my Path

Last September I left the house and neighborhood that I had lived in since 2001. Although I moved to a charming new-to-me neighborhood (less than one mile from my old house) and I still lived in the same city, I felt as if I moved into a whole new community. I didn't really know any neighbors. I didn't have a dog to walk anymore. When my kids were with me, they didn't necessarily want to venture outside. I didn't have a familiar walking route anymore.  

I felt lost. 

For at least the next two months, with the exception of taking my daughter Trick or Treating on Halloween, I only left my house for work, church, to run an errand, or to rake or shovel snow. Fall has always been my favorite season, but this year I found myself literally watching the season change from my window. 

I was lost.

Sometime in early December I decided that enough was enough. I missed not knowing the neighborhood I lived in. I missed being outside. Like it or not, I needed to make some changes. I needed to get back outside and walk. I've known this about myself for a long time - being outside is a great way for me to feel alive - no matter my mood or what's currently happening in my life. 

I needed to find my path again.

So I began small. Over the course of several days, I walked bits at a time - first venturing a block or two, then fifteen minutes. I explored different routes, and I found great delight. I even started catching sunsets againSoon I was walking regularly and daily again - at least thirty minutes. 

This month I found myself waking early again, just to walk.

Walking outside had been my normal routine for years. It made sense that I needed to get back to out. Returning outside felt good for so many reasons. I met new neighbors and developed new friendships. I felt more comfortable living in my neighborhood. Perhaps most importantly, I began noticing my outdoor surroundings again. This stood out from this morning's walk: 
  • the crunch of ice beneath my feet, 
  • warm hues of sunrise, 
  • birds flitting from feed to ground, searching for seeds,
  • faint train whistles,
  • owl hoots,
  • and even the rustle of branches against my coat. 
Monday's sunrise

It turned out that seeking new paths brought me a lot of joy. 

Walking outside continues to heal my soul. 

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