Lately, I am happiest in those moments I spend outside. There is something about the chill air that shocks my system, pulls oxygen into my brain and makes me feel glad to be alive. There may be a scientific basis for this. At the moment, however, it’s an observation. It’s also an observation that when I’m not doing this, I’m generally less joyful. I’ve known I’ve always suffered cabin fever, but this new awareness really brings it into focus. Maybe that’s why I hate the summer so much. With all that sun and UV radiation, I can’t get out of doors, and the feeling of being trapped is worse. Of course, I can’t escape the irony that as a youth I spent so much time in the sun and sea back in Australia.
When I looked out earlier and saw the first snow of the winter falling, I couldn’t wait to get out there, to feel those big fluffy flakes falling on me. I felt like a child might in seeing snow for the first time – it was something my inner child never witnessed so many years ago, and there was the sense of a door opening and something playful emerging. That sense didn’t last, but it gave me something to hope for, that I could feel that way again – playful and not so worn down.
Ever since my walking meditation of the other day, and some remarks I made in meditation the other day, I see my soul is really crying out for more time outside – not with people, as some might assume – I really am set in my introvert ways. I just wanted to be out there, watching the birds, walking, feeling the kind of calm that comes from my meditations. I think of Clare again, and her labyrinth, and wonder if I could somehow make that come into reality in my space. I know that others might cynically remark on the treasures our dogs leave in the yard, but I’m always cleaning up after them. I’ve done mindful poop-picking before, and could do it again.
I’m aware of limitations, and of the pain the cold might bring me, but perhaps in small doses, I could eke out my outdoor time. I want to feel more of that joy, that child’s heart. It seems so far away inside me, beneath so many layers.
In this inner space, therefore, I commit to making a labyrinth – even if it’s just shaking chalk dust on the ground, I will figure it out before the sun arrives.