My outdoor habit has taught me this about getting OK with seasons (Outdoor Diary)

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Episode 381 Humans Outside

When was the last time you thought about the way learning to notice and navigate changing seasons affects how you view your indoor life?

One of the best things about spending a lot of time outdoors is how it prompts you to pause and see how the world is shifting day by day. Are you ready for it? Are you taking it as it comes?

No matter how you approach the shift in seasons, one thing is certain: getting used to changes outdoors can teach you a thing or two about changes indoors.

Getting okay with growth
Noticing when it’s coming
Embracing what it brings

Listen to this episode of Humans Outside now!

Some of the good stuff:

[00:35] Here’s a highly philosophical observation about the sun

[01:28] We’ve got some signs of spring up in here

[02:31] Let’s get aware of seasons

[03:11] No solar eclipse here, but we do have seasons changing

[03:29] There’s sun and I’m not mad about it

[04:00] Just over here learning from nature for my inside life, once again

Connect with this episode:

Listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or wherever you find your favorite podcasts.

The following is an edited transcript of this episode of Humans Outside.

Here’s the thing about the sun — it’s always moving.

I know, I know. I’m basically a philosopher now. But hang with me for a second.

I was sitting on my porch recently, soaking in some sun rays in a spot that was conveniently out of a chilly wind. The air temperature hit a high of 43 degrees that day, but we’ve finally gotten to the point here in Alaska land where if you sit in the sun it feels so, so much warmer than whatever else is going on, including that wind that comes off the glacier.

I decided to spend my outdoor time there on the porch because I’d had a busy day of rushing, rushing, rushing, moving, moving, moving, never-ending work, never-ending to do, never-ending thinking.

I had just finished making dinner, and I had a brief reprieve before my next to do of heading to a meeting that was going to be indoors and last well into the night — just another day in the life of a local news reporter. Maybe it sounds like another day in the life of you.

One of my favorite things about my front yard this time of year is the way I can quickly and easily measure the march forward of spring. I have lilac bushes right in front of my house with green buds peeping out. Under a giant window, daffodil shoots are peeping up to the brown, dirty snow and leaf-crusted dirt. Elsewhere around my yard, tall trees are stretching towards the sky, with leaf buds peeping out of the branches, basking in the warmth of the sun just like me.

And on my front lawn, piles of crusty old snow are each day baking in the bright rays, getting smaller and smaller over each moment. Yes, there are flurries of snow falling still, but it melts quickly. And while the grass on my lawn hasn’t really started to grow yet, instead still smashed down and crusted with dirt left behind by the melt, I know that soon there will be movement there, too.

On that busy evening, as I sat on the porch and felt the warmth of the late afternoon sun on my face, I remembered that just a few short weeks ago the sun was lower in the sky and didn’t feel this warm. The leaves weren’t coming out. The snowpack on my lawn hadn’t melted. The daffodils were hiding underground.

Everything was still and quiet and dead, and winter.

And now it’s not.

Recently, the solar eclipse had much of the United States agog as people traveled hours, and hours away from their homes to witness totality. Up here in Alaska, we had a gorgeous sunny eclipse day, but no hint of an eclipse as we were well out of the path of the event. Still, just knowing about that celestial movement while seeing the growth on my lawn, the melting of the snow and the warmth of the sun on my face had me thinking about just how grateful I am this time of year that the sun reliably positions itself higher in the sky than it had been.

One the things spending so much time outside has taught me is to notice the way things change, embrace them, and to find gratitude in each and every step of the seasons. That’s true for the out of my control make me happy, like the warming weather. And it must also be true for the out of my control things that feel like the loss of a friend, like the turning of summer into fall and then to winter, or the fact that big fat, fresh snowflakes fell as I was putting together this episode today.

The nice thing about learning to embrace change by watching it happen outside rather than simply being smacked over the head with it as a part of my inside life, is that outside the process is usually very gentle if you’re paying attention. Very rarely do seasons change in one dramatic moment. In fact, I’m not sure they do that at all. Even the first snowfall comes after a parade of days where the temperatures are slowly and slowly getting colder as the sun stops getting quite so high in the sky.

I like to think that learning these lessons through nature by watching the seasons change and getting OK with how they move, learning to welcome whatever they bring and becoming OK with all of it has made me better with having a similar attitude during my inside life. Id like to think my daily practice of seeing and being OK with changes to nature beyond my control has helped me let go of other things.

Because just like outside things, change happens inside whether you want it or not. Kids grow, relationships shift, dogs grow old and pass on, things break, jobs flex, friendships grow and shift — and on and on and on.

Just like the movement of the sun and the changing of the seasons, all of those things are out of my control. And just like the changing of the seasons, all of them are things I can learn to accept one day at a time.

As I was putting together this podcast, I looked up to see a tiny green weed poking up through some old snow ice in my yard. it was just another signal telling me that spring really is coming and changes really are afoot, just like they always are both inside and out.

You can see photos of all of my outdoor time, including my many springtime escapades, on Humans Outside on Facebook and Instagram and I will see your photos, too. Tag them with #HumansOutside365

Until next time, we’ll see you out there.

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