Guest post contributed by Mariel Blake
Nothing gets me more excited than seeing the yellow dotted landscape of daffodils in bloom. Not so much because I love daffodils. I mean, they are a pretty plant and all but they aren’t my favorites. I get excited to see them every year, however, for the news they bring.
Around here they are the harbingers of spring. When they appear you know the fresh rebirth of spring is near. Granted we haven’t had the harshest of winters. There have been many days of warmth and sunshine, even if they have been spaced far apart. We have also had days of bitter cold, snow and ice and a lot of rain. There were times, as there always are, when it seemed like winter was going to linger on forever. Then the daffodils began popping up and it became clear that if we just hold on for a bit longer, spring would be here.
Everyone has their season, the time of year that just speaks to their spirit. For me it is Spring. I live nature and being outside. There is some thing to be said about enjoying nature at various times of year. The lazy haze of summer. The sharp crispness of Fall. The cozy cocoon of Winter. For me, it has always been the refreshing breeze of spring that sparks joy in my soul.
Maybe it’s because I’m a spring baby. There is nothing better than spring because it symbolizes optimism, opportunity and renewal. It is a time for reconnection to what is most important, what is at your core. To do that requires some introspection and there are few better ways to do that, especially in the spring, than by taking a walk.
Part of our habits as a species is to share and connect over meals. Family dinner has long been held up as the prime method for creating a strong family unit which leads to stronger communities. For many people the dinner table is still that place. For most of us, however, life has changed and schedules have scattered us so that we are not all in the same place long enough to share a meal.
That doesn’t mean you have to give up family time. I was reminded on an early pre-Spring evening that one way to make that connection is to take a walk together.
It had been warm all week. The weekend had been picture perfect and each day after that seemed to be trying to outdo the last in beautiful blue skies. Then we had a night of thunderstorms. The next day the rain was gone and blue skies were back. The air, however, carried with it a clinging chill that goes with the death them rows of summer. By some happenstance all three members of m family were home and not in a hurry to get to the next thing. So instead we all decide to go when it comes time for my husband to walk the dogs.
Our neighborhood is not very big. There are only two streets. So it doesn’t take long to make a loop around the block. As we go we talk. There were no distractions, everyone left their phone at home. We walked in the cool night air and talked about various subjects, serious and silly.
We talk often about ways to honor the family unit and ways to connect with each other that don’t involve bandwidth. We also talk about ways to sneak healthy activities into our daily routine. There is no better way to do all these things than by simply taking a walk.
Maybe you like taking a stroll on an early summer morning before the heat sets in. Maybe you like to walk among the falling leaves of autumn. Maybe the starkness of a winter landscape encourages you to explore on foot. Or, like me, you love nothing more than a walk in the fresh air of Spring. No matter what time of year you like best, even with the most hectic schedule everyone can find a way to take a 10 minute walk everyday or even every now and then to touch base with whoever makes up the members of your family. Like the hardy daffodils taking a walk with your family can be an early sign of a renewal of your relationship or a delicate reminder to notice the beauty of your relationships that can bloom when the time is right.