Monday, April 19, 2010

Taking a break - with nature

Taking a break means different things for different people, and likewise, different people find time for those breaks in different ways. For many of us, taking a break means needing to escape, and there are many ways of escaping.
My friend Valerie Comer takes a break by getting back to nature.

Valerie Comer: I've heard it said that the core difference between extroverts and introverts is that extroverts draw energy from being around other people while introverts draw strength from within.
Color me an introvert.
When life gets stressful, I pull back to nature. I'm thankful to live on a farm in the Kootenay region of British Columbia, Canada, a place with truly some of the most spectacular scenery in the world. My dog and I walk our road every morning and night, listening to the trills of red-winged blackbirds and the calls of ducks and geese. We hear the wind rippling through oats and corn and poplars, and the buzz of insects--including the bees whose hives are on our property.
We watch hawks and eagles swoop for mice in the fields, and great blue herons doing their best fence-post imitations. We admire the neighbors' Border collie as he herds their cattle from one pasture to another following only hand signals and whistles. We see the ever-changing clouds and, in the late fall, shiver as we notice the snow line creeping down the mountain across our valley. And then we see our breath in the frigid air, and walk faster.
In the spring, the sap of the trees smells so sweet. In summer, it is the wildflowers; in autumn, the tang of frost-tinged leaves and woodsmoke curling from chimneys. Winter smells of crisp snow in the air.
I feel the changes in temperature, but the dog, Brody, doesn't. He doesn't care if I'm in shorts and a tank, sweating profusely. He doesn't care if I'm bundled in long johns and my parka, with a tuque pulled low over my ears and forehead. He doesn't care if the wind bites my cheeks and freezes my fingers. To him, it is all the same.
In these walks, I am thankful that God created the beauty around me. Whether it is windy and cold or humid and hot, I'm thankful to fill my lungs with cleansing air and to expel the worries and tension that have crept in. I find peace and, with it, the strength to resume my tasks.
I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order. ~John Burroughs

By the way, to all the non-Canadians reading this, a tuque is a knitted pull-on cap/hat. Picture Bob and Doug McKenzie.

I found if I closed my eyes, I could see a lot of what Valerie said, and that means I've had my break for the day.

So this brings me to my thought/question of the day. Can you see those birds and bees and other wildlife, and does that picture help you relax? Or is what makes you relax the project of knitting that tuque?

I invite you to visit Valerie's website at

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