Thursday, September 30, 2004

Go Outside Already!

It's about 50 degrees outside right now and I'm loving it. Cool, fall days like today are probably my favorite types of days. It's just cool enough out to make it so you need to wear pants and a long sleeve shirt, yet you can still feel the briskness of the air as you walk outside. It kind of makes you feel like nature is giving you a big, cool hug.

Accompanying the cooler temperatures is usually an overcast sky. I've never been a big fan of direct sunlight and I'm happy any time that it's partially blotted out. That's one of the main reasons I love afternoon thunderstorms. Well, that and the thunder/lightning combo that comes with them. With the overcast skies, you don't have to worry about squinting to see, yet everything is illuminated enough to make it so that you can see the littlest details of everything around you if you'll take the time to look.

While you're enjoying the mild temperatures, don't forget to feel the wind as it brushes across your body. I don't know how to describe it, but every time a light breeze picks up and blows my way, I can't help but feel a little refreshed. Mother Nature must have added a caffeine like pick-me-up into the air during this season of harvest.

My dad is working hard out in the fields right now, along with most of my neighbors (I live in the middle of the country so most of us farm). As I was out for a run yesterday, I passed by one of my neighbor's fields as he was harvesting it. I threw him a wave which he returned and I found myself thinking about how much I truly enjoy the colors of fall.

I know many people hate the drab, "deathly" colors of fall--browns, oranges, faded greens--but I love them! I will take these muted colors over the bright greens of summer or the bleak whiteness of winter any day.

Summer always seems too busy while winter always feels boring. Spring manages to just mix in with summer, but fall is a season of transition that everyone notices. The leaves are falling, the temps are dropping, the harvest is being brought in, and everything seems to be dying.

You'd think I'd hate this season since I have such an abnormal fear of death, but I often feel at peace being surrounded by it. In fact, I think it helps to ease my fears by seeing everything in nature so peacefully transition from life to death. There are no rebellions by the plants against what must come with the changing of the season. No, they simply take it in stride, change colors (sometimes very, very beautiful colors), shed their seed and pass on, letting nature take its course.

I often wonder if some day I will have that type of an attitude about the natural progression of time and how it will eventually take my life from me. When I'm 80 will I finally feel deep down that I know my death is serving a purpose or will I still look upon it with fear and uncertainty? I pray that it won't be the second.

With all this talk of the outdoors, I think it's about time that I took a quick little stroll outside to enjoy it. You should too if you have the chance. Before you know it, winter will be rolling in with its sub-zero temperatures and mounds of snow and you'll be reminiscing about wonderful days like today.

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