Whatever you want the weather to be like, there is a message for you in experiencing nature the way it is. Two years ago, I moved to Colorado from Virginia, where normally now the first daffodils would be coming up. Instead, snow is lingering a little too long for some on the east coast. Our second Spring here in a western mountain town, I am also missing the daffodils, which come up in June when the snow is finally gone and glorious Summer begins.
But what about Spring?! A recent injury prevented my preferred activities of yoga and snowshoeing, and instead I had to…walk, and experience day-to-day a new kind of Spring.
I’m only allowed forward movement. Isn’t that a nice metaphor for life? Instead of a treadmill, I opted for brisk lunchtime walks on our town bike path. Sunny days, grey days, good weather, bad weather. Forward motion has not only been making my knee stronger, but my mind as well.
Walking along the river in the last month:
1. I had to accept the external elements and move forward regardless
2. Deciding to take a step forward and keep moving (many times to stay warm!) gave me more energy
3. I have to be present to slick spots or other people along the path
4. And then, while briskly moving forward, I relax, still progressing in flow
5. I notice sights, sounds, details of nature, even the days when I am moving against or with the river’s flow
6. And sometimes, I give myself permission - I choose to stop - and be ok with non-movement, embraced by the stillness
A moment in nature anywhere, even if it is not in-your-face beautiful, is an awakening if you are willing to take it in.
It was during my walks that I decided to publish later this year the first of a series of children’s books that have been nudging me for months.
The injury? That was no accident. I read recently a quote that said, “Things don’t happen to you. They happen for you.” I needed this time of literal forward motion for not only healing, but also awakening.
May you discover Spring within - transform what is happening to you into what is happening for you and use it to take a step forward in your amazing journey of life.
About Rebecca P. Cohen
Rebecca P. Cohen is the go-to spokesperson for outdoor activities any time of the year. Rebecca is author of the book, 15 Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids (Sourcebooks), the digital excerpt The Best Outdoor Activities for Families: Wintertime, and inventor of Rebecca Plants Curiosity Cards. Rebecca’s work has been featured in Better Home and Gardens, Parenting, Redbook, Working Mother, Family Circle, Backyard Solutions, and has appeared on live morning news shows around the country. Rebecca has been a proud ambassador of the Seeds of Change Sowing Millions Project and featured as a spokesmom for the National Wildlife Federation’s Be Out There movement on PBS Wild Animal Baby. She has inspired thousands with her public appearances and community and school events, and motivates still more to follow their dreams and passions as the host of Wish It, Dream It, Do It! radio. For more information visit RebeccaPlants.com.