I had been irritable for a few days. Little things were bothering me that normally didn’t. I was short with my family. I was just plain irritable. Life was off….. and I wasn’t sure why.
This weekend when I got up early, before any of my neighbors or my family and got in the pool.
It was so quiet.
It was so calm.
The sun was just coming up and I was alone.
I needed to do my lap swimming, part of my summer exercise routine. So, I set out, swimming. Still feeling irritable and off, like I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed… again!
It was so QUIET! There were no flood lights shining into my backyard, blinding me. There were no loud phone conversations, to which I should not be privy. There was no base booming in the air or reverberating through the water and up my spine. It was QUIET. PEACEFUL. SERENE.
I didn’t need music. I didn’t need my phone or TV. I was disconnected from the very connected world we now live in. It was just me and I could enjoy this morning, with the birds and yes the bugs!
I swam, different strokes on my back and on my stomach. Listening to what was going on around me. Ducks flew over my head. Birds I had never seen or heard, were on the wall and trees singing to me, beautiful songs. Birds I was used to seeing, sat on the wall watching me and making sure I knew they were there by the sounds they made. The gentle breeze through the fronds of the many palm trees in our yard and in our neighbors’ yards created a melody that was soothing. The sound of the waterfall into our pool soothed my weary soul. Bees buzzed my head to land in the pool and take a drink (I didn’t enjoy that so much!). And a beautiful, red dragonfly, like none I had ever seen before, swooped and dived around my head and my pool, following me and entertaining me. This was Nature’s music. This was Nature’s dance.
What a beautiful song it was! What a spectacular dance it was!
And halfway through my lap swimming, it hit me. THIS is why I had been so irritable. I was missing my quiet time…. not just any quiet time, but the time I spent outside enjoying Nature’s music.
It is HOT here in Arizona, so outside time is limited to water time, which for me means pool time. It is too hot to hike. It is too hot for walks. It is too hot to be outdoors. Period! (For me anyway. Yes, others get outside and hike, bike and walk, but NOT me in this heat! I don’t like to sweat!) I was missing the outdoors. Last year, I was able to spend every morning and every evening in the pool, exercising and relaxing and enjoying the birds and bugs, the sunsets and sunrises, and the stars. But this year I haven’t been able to enjoy it as much. My quiet time had been hijacked and I didn’t realize how much I needed it or missed it. Until my swim on Saturday morning.
I need time outside. I need time in nature. I need time disconnected from a very connected world. I need to turn it all off and just be….. and time outside does that for me. That is why we have created the backyard oasis we have spent the past year and a half building. It gives us a place to get away. A place to disconnect and breathe. Something I really need.
Whether it is in the woods or the desert…. on the beach or on a mountain….. at the ocean, by a lake, on a river or in a pool…. in a national park, a forest or my backyard…. hiking, walking, swimming or just sitting….. I NEED to be outdoors. And I need nature’s music to sooth my soul. And outdoors, in the natural world, is where I feel closest to God. It is where I feel spiritual. It is where I can clear my mind and heal whatever my heart needs healing. Nature is wondrous, a magical place with healing attributes. Nature shows me what a mighty God I have and ALL that He has created.
At the end of my very long swim, I was at peace. I was smiling. And the feeling of waking up on the wrong side of the bed was gone. The irritable feeling was gone. My equilibrium was back. I felt like me again.
All I needed was to be outside, where I could hear nature singing to me. Then I could finally breathe……