There is much to be said about getting outside and moving. It has to do with moving out of your normal and getting into adventure mode; it has to do with pushing stagnant air and blood around the body to remix with fresh.
I was recently out on an unusually warm day for January, hiking a close-by natural glade area because I remembered liking being outdoors and hiking, but hadn’t done so in too long. My life is pretty dedicated to making ends meet while being available for the three kids my partner and I are raising. It was just the perfect weather and no other obligations that pushed me to fulfill my own desire. I even put on my hiking boots to make it official!
My muscles immediately relaxed with the receding view of civilization, my nose filled with the scent of moist earth and my brain excitedly began the processes of noticing and identifying. Hikes are more leisure for me than others because I am a detail person. My eyesight has become quite poor, so when something catches my eye, I tend to stop and take a closer look. Or feel. Or smell or even taste. That vibrant green moss that grows in lovely round tufts on rocks near moisture feel exactly like you would expect: Spongy, soft and fuzzy. Juniper berries are a very deep blue/purple once you rub the glabra wax off, and the taste is deliciously sweet.
While the sound of water spilling through rocks in a small, meandering creek is still the most soothing sound to my soul, the crush of leaves under delicate deer hooves to this day makes me freeze in my tracks and scan the forest depths for a glimpse. I watched one deer cross the trail up ahead with great trepidation (hunting season is a very near memory), leaping over most of the trail and bounding through the under-story on the other side. The other deer tucked itself back into the forest, made a round through the under-story on my side, and quickly crossed over at the creek where there was a little more cover. I heard a third deer, but never could locate it by sight. Patience and perseverance win every time!
I am motivated to go out and hike even more now, so perhaps this winter will not hold me indoors as much as in the past. Who knows, I may discover a passion for winter hiking in my tropical soul!