Those were the words that Sarah and I shared that resonated the most today. Because in a way, they were so unexpected.
They came at the end of a 4.5 mile hike at the Haw River State Park in North Carolina - approximately 2.75 of which consisted of an unexpected downpour from the outer rain bands of Tropical Depression Claudette.
We were soaking wet, but happy, and happiness has been hard to come by for a while.
I work a remote job - for a company that absolutely has established and honors schedule flexibility and results-oriented work.
But I’ve done an incredibly poor job at allowing myself the time and space during the workday to walk and move. While my particular position (Support Engineering) has some limitations on that flexibility and the results-oriented work that other positions come by more naturally, the time and space is there for me to take the time during the day to get away and the fault is entirely my own that I haven’t given myself that gift of walking and moving every day.
It’s dramatically impacted my mental health and my physical well being, and I’ve been less productive, not more, in my work as a result.
It’s something that this week reminded me that I need to be doing this - that taking time to be present in the here and now in nature, every day creates happiness
In the last eight days, for the first time since November 2019 - I took a long walk/hike every day for the last eight days.
90,211 steps. 40.16 miles. Just over 321 furlongs (for your factoid of the day)
8 different State, County, Town, and NGO Parks - all but 1 are ~15 minutes from my home.
- Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area
- Brumley Nature Preserve
- Confluence Natural Area
- Eno River State Park (Cox Mountain Trail)
- Blackwood Farm Park
- Gold Park
- Little River Natural Area (My “home” park, just 5 miles away)
- Haw River State Park
Along the way:
I found Dory:
And some incredible fungi:
A not-so-shy turtle:
This incredible gift of a walking stick left by a local whittler:
And most of all some new perspective:
Those walks weren’t limited to the parks, my own home is its own retreat in a way. Just walking around the yard brings new sights and sounds and even smells every day.
I got to play with a DJI Mavic Mini2 this week, and the view from 400 feet high was something to behold:
Particularly the sunset:
But best of all, this early summer we’ve been entertained by a juvenile barred owl just learning to find its own way in the world - and I leave you with their closeup debut from the week: