The key to gratitude is in a morning walk
This week I’ve rediscovered the cleansing power of a morning walk.
We’ve been having chilly mornings here, foggy and dewy – the perfect conditions to bundle up the baby in the stroller and head out.
If I ever find myself ungrateful for what I have, which is quite often, a morning walk keeps me in check.
We move next week, and I’m very much looking forward to living in a downtown neighborhood for many reasons. But for a few more days, I am enjoying these rural walks.
The smell of eucalyptus trees is stronger in the morning. I remember camping on the coast near Santa Barbara as a child and feeling intoxicated by the smell of crushed eucalyptus leaves under my bare feet. And now I live in an area where I can smell them everyday! I am so blessed.
Then I pass a grove of aromatic pepper trees behind a pretty white fence and I breathe deeply again. The stuff I’m anxious about (which is almost everything) doesn’t seem so important.
Lately, I’ve whined about being cheated out of a good autumn here. After living in Boston for two years, these mild California seasons feel dull and unexciting. I grew up in California, but a place in the mountains where we jumped in the river to cool off in the summer and loaded up with firewood to stay warm in the winter. Where we live now is in a valley, 13 miles from the coast, so our seasons are kind of like pretend seasons.
But instead of complaining, I’m choosing to drink in the little hints of fall wherever I can. Morning walks are good for that.
Not many rituals can be enjoyed across generations AND species. But the simple morning walk is just as special for me as it is for my almost-10-month-old and our wiener dog. There is something humbling about that.
The morning walk helps me stay grateful for all the beauty in my life. I cleanse my mind, recalibrate my priorities, and then can return to my day with a renewed purpose and energy. Plus it makes Baby G sleepy enough for her morning nap, which gives me time to write, or put a bra on, or whatever.
Sometimes the morning walk is the only chance I have to get out all day, depending on how Baby G’s naps go, etc. You mamas know how that is; I don’t need to explain. So this way, at the end of the day, I will have at least ventured outside.
Do you take a morning walk? What rituals do you find help you stay grateful for your life?