|Mt. Shuksan behind me with a new coat of snow|
Although I work out in exercise classes at the gym, they are just not the same thing as getting outside. I found this article about the Top 10 Health Benefits of Hiking, just because I was wondering what the difference might be between indoor and outdoor activity. It turns out that being outdoors increases my sense of well-being and happiness when I commune with nature. Yep. I agree.
It was so different yesterday morning at 8:00am when I met with nineteen others to go on our walk around town. It rained all night long, and although when we met the rain had tapered off, I looked at the future track on my phone and it indicated plenty of rain. We ended up walking for the first half of in a driving rain, but it had again slowed down towards the end. At least a dozen of us stayed for coffee afterwards, and I have to say I was really happy with my new raincoat: although I wasn't completely dry, I was way more so than I expected to be. We got two full inches of rain yesterday, and although it was quite warm, the wind and rain were quite a challenge.
Today I have an extra hour, what with the time change last night. Of course, my body didn't know about the difference, so I woke up at the usual time. I decided to just go ahead and start my day, with this post and reading the blogs of my internet friends, and let the day play out as usual. I might show up at the coffee shop a little early, but otherwise the hour should be absorbed into my daily routine without much hassle. Tonight, however, I'll try to go to bed a little later than usual so that I won't keep waking up early. It's funny, but I have a harder time with the extra hour than I do when I lose an hour in the springtime.
On the bus the other day, I overheard a conversation between a young woman and her companion. She said, "oh, is the election next week already? I had forgotten about it." I couldn't believe it. We were on the same bus but existing in two different universes. If there had been some way for me to lower the volume on this election, I would have. It never occurred to me that there are other people out there who aren't even paying attention to it. It has been, without a doubt, the most acrimonious and dismaying election of my lifetime. I did see an article yesterday that compared this election with some of our early ones and realized that this is really not new in American politics. You might enjoy reading the UK Guardian's take on it here. It was informative and gave me a little perspective. We had some pretty awful elections 200 years ago, it seems, and we survived. From that article:
Actually, the US electorate has been here before, many times, going back to the 1780s, in elections replete with assassination, corruption, rhetorical vitriol, and good old “dirty tricks”. The meat-grinding process by which the American democratic sausage is made has always fallen a long way short of edifying.Whew! I'll sure be glad when it's over, although whoever loses isn't going anywhere. The hatred and vitriol that has been unleashed will give the victor a terrible hangover of hard feelings to deal with. But still, we will go forward and have, in my opinion, a very good chance of making progress toward a better future, no matter what. Of course, that's just my opinion and only helps to make me feel a little better. I mean, what alternative do I have other than to fall into despair? That doesn't help anything and only affects me negatively.
Having sunshine on my shoulder, playing outdoors with my friends and breathing in the smell of pine trees at high altitude, that is the best cure of all. It looks like we might have one more trip into the High Country this coming Thursday, with another expected break in the weather in the forecast. No matter what happens in my little life, the magnificent trees and forests will be a balm to my spirit and will continue to inspire joyful mindfulness to all who visit them. Ah, yes, just thinking about it makes my heart soar and dispels the darkness.
Not to mention the darkness outside my window will soon be dispelled, since the sun will rise an entire hour earlier this morning than yesterday. Let's not talk about the other end of the day, though, shall we? I'm concentrating on the good things about returning to Pacific Standard Time. Walking to the bus in the morning means I won't have to use my headlamp to see the sidewalk, at least for awhile. And I've got a yoga class at 9:00am that I'm looking forward to, so life is good right now. And the rain has stopped, at least for today. My very special latte is waiting for me at the coffee shop, and today it will be free. Every 12th cup is free when you use their award system. I like to save it for Sundays.
Oh, will you look at that? Another post just got written, and it's still early! I can post this and go back to reading my news sites and check out Facebook. I usually don't have the time to do it all, but this morning I will. Anyone who uses Facebook knows it can be a real time sink, but I like to see how my family and friends are doing. It takes a little discipline, but I really enjoy it. I have plenty of friends who post inspirational quotes and they lift my spirits. I've blocked all the ones who post negativity, so I can enjoy the others.
And my tea is gone, my dear partner is breathing softly next to me, and I've got a good full day ahead of me. I hope that you have a truly wonderful week ahead, and that you might get a chance to spy a pine tree and say hello to it. Until next week, be well.