Updated: Nov 12, 2021
I’ve never been an outdoorsy person. I always found comfort inside, with my nose in books, watching movies or moving in a dance studio. As the years have gone by, however, I’ve noticed a growing desire to familiarize myself more with nature and appreciate my surroundings; I’ve taken to bike riding, taking walks, or even just sitting on my porch, observing what's around me and simply breathing. This by no means makes me adventurous or one with nature, but has provided me with some great therapeutic moments filled with an unexplainable gratitude.
I’m one of those people who frowns upon those who preach being thankful for being alive or feeling lucky to have made it this far. I find it sometimes corny and invalidating to the struggles some face. Yet there are moments (and I find these moments to be more common as I get older) where the simplest thing will overwhelm me with a strange feeling of, “Wow, how crazy is it that I’m here, alive, breathing and experiencing this?!?” These moments definitely tend to happen in the warmer weather, in the summer months when I come out of my hibernation ready to expose myself to the world again and are prompted by the simplest things; feeling the sun beaming on my skin, driving while listening to my favorite song, feeling the wind against my face as I ride my bike past the canal. Every year since moving to Rochester, NY I’ve noticed how much my mood changes from winter to summer. I’m not here to self-diagnose with a seasonal mood disorder, but to say that there is definitely a correlation between my state of mind/productivity and the weather, particularly the temperature. Maybe I’m like a bear; secluded and quiet in the winter, and ready to burst out in the summer. Or maybe I’m a solar panel; in need of sunlight to power me and give me energy. Whatever I may be, there’s no denying that come May, I become much more energetic, enthusiastic, excited and motivated to try new things, go outside and take in the new season.
I feel silly even writing this down because I feel like I’ve become like the people I used to roll my eyes at. But isn’t it amazing that despite everything, we’re here? We beat so many odds, overcome so many obstacles to make it where we are physically and emotionally. Perhaps there are still things we’re still working through but despite everything we still get to watch the leaves change color, the snow fall, the flowers bloom and the sun rise. It’s hard to put what I'm trying to express into words and it’s a feeling I'm still processing. What I know right now is that whenever I feel directionless, lost or inundated I turn to these sentiments. The easiest way for me to access this form of appreciation is music, but the smallest, most mundane things get the job done too. I guess we just have to look at the stars, close our eyes, and breathe.