365 Life in the Bogs Get Outdoors Challenge
(Day One — A foggy morning.)
I saw old Autumn in the misty morn
Stand shadowless like silence,
~ Thomas Hood
On September 23, 2010, I set off on a quest and a commitment to step outside and enjoy the outdoors (and blog about it!) every day for the next year. I was inspired to do so by Kathy who spent her own year Opening the door, walking outside. Thank you, Kathy, for the inspiration!
I’m setting out on this journey with no expectations other than the hope of learning a thing or two.
I will use this page to highlight some of my year. The main entries can be found on the main part of Life in the Bogs.
Update: 22 December 2010
They say that every snowflake is different. If that were true, how could the world go on? How could we ever get up off our knees? How could we ever recover from the wonder of it?
~ Jeanette Winterson
It is day 91 and I find it hard to believe that 3 months have passed already. The misty days of autumn are over and we are now well into winter with plenty of snow on the ground. The pond is frozen enough that we can now walk, sled, and ice skate upon it
I am learning a lot about this small piece of Mother Earth that nurtures, nourishes, and sustains us in a variety of ways. I now know where the deer paths are through the woods and meadows, and where they sleep at night. I have met a dule of doves (and learned the term “dule” as a result!), a kingfisher, a great blue heron, and many other birds while out on my daily walks. I am getting to know the woods and the creek that runs through the woods.
I am honing my photography skills. When you walk nearly the same paths day after day, you have to be creative with your picture taking. Or so I thought. Mother Nature provides plenty of creativity for me to capture. I am often reminded of the quote about how you can never stand in the same river twice for that is what it is like outdoors every day. There are always changes and even “the same path” is different if you’re paying attention.
I am also learning things that touch the heart and the soul. But the nature of this sort of learning makes it difficult to put into words. It is an expansion or an opening of the heart and the soul as well as a sense of peacefulness that comes with feeling a connection to everything. I still have about 270+ days to go and expect I will continue to learn a lot along the way.
Update: 25 March 2011
The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.
~ Henry Van Dyke, Fisherman’s Luck
According to the calendar, it is spring here in the Bogs. But you wouldn’t know it from the weather. We had snow yesterday. The temperature dips into the teens overnight and is barely above freezing during the day. We had a brief warm up which brought out the crocuses. The daffodils and hyacinths are almost ready to bloom, and the trees are budding.
Even with the cold, it is still a hopeful, beautiful season.
I am happy to write that I kept my commitment throughout the cold, harsh days of winter. I enjoyed winter more than I usually do. I attribute that to getting outside and taking the time to get to know the season. I made friends with the ice, the snow, and the cold. M and I went on winter hikes, and got out and about on our cross-country skis.
My daily walks have become slow and meditative. I no longer rush from here to there, most of the time. On days like today, when it’s cold and a little blustery, I move faster in order to stay warmer. The brief warm up we had made this cold snap seem colder than it did during the winter months.
This is the third season of my outdoor commitment. I’m looking forward to learning more about spring.
Update: 21 June 2011
Summer is the time when one sheds one’s tensions with one’s clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit. A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all’s right with the world.
~ Ada Louise Huxtable
It’s here. The last season of my outdoor commitment. Summer. Always my least favorite because of the heat and humidity and bugs and stickiness. I want to turn that around this year, and learn to at least like summer, if not love it.
Spring flew by, going from chilly to hot in the blink of an eye. I think the heat and humidity have settled in for a while and are likely to last until autumn rolls around again. The deer flies and mosquitoes are thriving. But so is beauty. Everything is so green and lush. Flowers are blooming everywhere, from the teeniest tiniest little things in the lawn to big showy blossoms such as the lilies.
Having established this wonderful habit of going outside every day, I have decided to continue it even after I have completed my commitment. Mother Nature has gifts to share each and every day. All we have to do is step outside and have a look around.
(Note: I have not kept up with the daily photos of the pond for the slide show. I just haven’t had the time for it. I will try to fit in a few more photos before the commitment is over so that there is some coverage for each season.)
Update: 23 September 2011
Commitment creates a powerful radiant energy that activates all sorts of ‘miracles’ within and around you.
~ Susan Jeffers
Autumn is here once again, and I have completed my commitment to get outside every day for a year. It was a fabulous year in which I learned a lot about nature and the land on which I live. You can read more about it on the last post of the commitment, 365: One amazing year.
Thank you so much to those of you who followed and encouraged me, especially on those challenging days when it wasn’t easy to step foot outside. Your lovely comments kept me going.
I started two new commitments as of 26 September 2011 which include a daily yoga practice and a switch to pescetarianism. I expect I won’t eat a lot of fish, but decided not to go full-out vegetarian just yet because sometimes it’s difficult to find a good vegetarian or vegan dish when I’m traveling. Keeping fish on the plate will make things go a little easier when I’m not at home.