My New (ab)Normal
Fridays Remain for Poetry

Listen to John Muir

I'm up north this week.  

Usually, I don't come up to our little cabin this early in the season (although Tom does, regularly, to fish).  Spring comes slowly here in Michigan, generally.  But it comes even s-l-o-w-e-r up north.  It's hard to take a big step backward when it comes to springtime, y'know? So I usually skip these May trips.


But this year? Things are different. (Oh. So. Different.) And I decided to come along this week.  Bare trees and all!

And even though it WAS kind of shocking to see how far spring is lagging behind up here . . . it's been refreshing, in a way, too.  

Yesterday (a day, mind you, that started with bright blue skies and a temperature of 21 degrees F), I was reminded of one of my favorite quotes: 

"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."         
                                                --- John Muir


When JoJo and I set out for our daily walk, I didn't expect much; I wasn't really seeking anything.  Just some exercise.  And a chance to get outside for both of us.

But I received far more than that!


Our time in the trees . . . kind of hit a RESET button in my soul.  I enjoyed the gifts of sunshine and cool breezes.  I marveled at the emerging leaves.  I took big breaths of fresh forest air.  I felt myself relax.  I sunk into spring emerging all around me.  And I realized how lucky I am to be able to watch spring unfold for a second time this year! 

These are challenging times.  The world seems a very confused, scary, and incredibly frustrating place right now.  After yesterday, my advice to you . . . is to get outside!  
Spend some time in nature.  
Allow the magic to happen.  
Listen to John Muir!  

You'll receive far more than you seek!


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Your experience sounds so much like my walk with Mary yesterday. She called it forest bathing and I just love that expression.


My friend Elizabeth swears by forest bathing....she’s bolder than I am, though. During a struggle last summer when she just needed to BE and cope with her sister’s passing, she drove to a state park after dark, hung a hammock between two trees,and spent the night out there! I’m more of a daytime girl in the first, myself—but I’m with you, with the sights, sounds, smells, feels.


Forest, not first:)


Church of the woods! I can't tell you how much our walks have made it easier to get through this. (My mileage is right up there with you - I did a little calculating after you mentioned yours. And has resulted in some weight loss even with the increase in 8 oz curlzzzzz.) I'm glad you're able to be up there and outside! xo


Getting out for a walk everyday is the main thing getting me through this time!

Kim Sheehan

Amen sister!


Yep, getting out for a walk has been what has kept me sane-ish, and even better that you are getting to see spring arrive a second time!


I am a much happier person when I can get outside! Enjoy your time in the woods. Even though spring is slow to come there it truly is a good way to cleanse your soul.


Yes - getting outdoors somewhere - either in my neighborhood or on a quiet day in a park - has kept me from falling off the deep end. How lucky to see Spring emerge for a second time. It would almost be worth 21 degrees again.


This looks and sounds amazing ... literally a change of scenery and I'm sure it must be doing wonderful things for your mind, body and spirit!


When we were first locked down here, my daily walk outside was so important, and I found that I was noticing small details so much more without the usual distraction of rushing to work or rushing home and thinking of my to-do list. You are very lucky to get to experience it a second time -- enjoy!


We don't have a dog (too much traveling) but love seeing them on our almost daily walks. They are the sunshine of our outdoor excursions, all tail-wagging, happy-body-wriggling, leash-tugging chunks of joy. Love those beautiful photos of the early, early spring Michigan woods. Carolyn, how does a state park allow visitors after dark? (Maybe I just don't know enough about state parks).


I am a huge fan of fresh air as a cure! Especially forest bathing.


Patty nailed it... my first thought looking at your photos was "church in the woods" (which I think is so perfect) I love having a "second spring" and there is nothing wrong with a bit of extended sweater weather! XO


Your post today really hit home for me. We also have a lake place a couple hours north and west of Minneapolis. While we are looking pretty green here in the city, I know things will be not quite so lovely at the lake. But we are planning to head there next week. I will try to look at it as a second chance to see spring erupt in all its brilliance. It’s my favorite season.


For a while, I had sisters living in both northern & southern Wisconsin, and I lived in the middle... there was always about a 2-week difference in the way they experienced the seasons compared to me.

Margene Smith

Seeing spring emerge for a second time! Oh, my, that would be like beatification!


The trilliums are in bloom here, as well as the round-lobed hepaticas (always first to bloom) and the wild purple violets. How does that compare with Michigan?

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