Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What a Little Fresh Air Can Do

As the sun sunk toward the horizon yesterday, my kids played in the backyard with the neighbors.  Oh, friends, it was a glorious display of play: uninhibited digging and running and gathering and exploring.  I loaded the dishwasher overcome with the sweet realization that even their shouting is much more pleasant as it wafts into the house from a distance than when it's coming directly from the room where I'm sitting.

This is what a little fresh air can do.  It shifts perspective.

Nearly all the work that I do on a daily basis, beyond the time I spend in the classroom, involves paperwork and being on the computer.  There's a continual ebb and flow of paperwork (distribute, collect, evaluate, return) and email (check, read, respond). 

Progress is made, of course, but it's mostly indicated by a check on a to-do list.  I think this is why I long for visible progress in other areas in my life, why I take such simple yet profound pleasure in manual tasks like cutting the grass, painting a room, or organizing a closet.  This was once one way; Look, now it's another!

So, yesterday, when the sun was still warm before dinner, I walked through the yard gathering sticks, raking leaves, and cleaning winter debris.  My husband started a fire in our fire pit and we burned brush.  Somehow, as the leaves crinkled and branches smoldered in the fire, I saw life with more clarity.

I wasn't racing the clock, or staring into a screen, or striving in any way.  The physical movement, the sunshine, the dirt under my fingernails, the smell of overturned earth -- all of it -- felt like a gift from God, a reminder that spring arrives, that newness comes, that winters do end, that progress is made.

This is what a little fresh air can do.  It encourages the soul.

Continual confinement within the walls of the house and the cooped-up absorption with small, indoor matters is forgotten when I'm plotting the garden, or noticing the breeze in my hair, or reminding my three-year-old to not jump head-first off the swing set, versus jumping head first off the back of a couch. 

I'm pretty sure that getting outside makes me a better mother and a calmer person. 

This is what a little fresh air can do: everything.


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4 comments:

  1. Oh yes indeed Robin. A little fresh air can turn me from a miserable, hormonal, edgy mess into a calm, reflective, slower, quieter person. I hate the length of winter but spring... its promise of warmth and new life is a delight.

    Such a beautiful, almost poetic posting.

    Wishing you a blessed evening my friend.
    xoxo

    PS - Yes I deleted the previous comment because I used it's instead of its and I can't have that now... can I?! I am such a freak. Sorry. I wish the Blogger commenting system had an editing feature.

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    1. I hate typos, too, so no worries at all! Ha!

      "Miserable, hormonal, edgy mess" to a "calm, reflective, slower, quieter person...." that is EXACTLY what I have happen, too. Makes me wonder, how do we even survive being around ourselves in the winter? :)

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  2. So true! I made myself take a little while to walk though our neighborhood this morning after I go the kids to school. I had a millions things to do, but I needed to refresh myself mind and it was a beautiful morning!

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    1. You are so wise to take the walk, Lisa. Good for you! (I bet that the rest of your morning was even more productive, not less, because of it!)

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