Enjoying time outdoors is one of the biggest things that keeps me sane. I think I mentioned this earlier, but it's really really true.
I think these brief snaps start to capture how just a change of scenry can calm my whole perpective on things.
Just look at the blueness of the sky! I also adore the shadows coming down from the trees and how the ice on the lake reflects sun!
This is an interesting combination of snow tracks, reflections from the water gathering on the top of the ice, the perfectly centered hill in the background, and the siloette of the trees. Sigh! Can you feel that tension in your shoulders releasing?
I couldn't resist the beaten bottoms of these boats. The colors are more muted then I remember them being in the warmer weather, but I feel like each one has a story to tell or an adventure it's meant to go on. Each one seems like it could burst with happiness if it was only released from it's chains and allowed to be free!
Are you becoming more aware of your breathing... it's slowing... calming?
The wispy clouds and grass make the lake look lazy and relaxed in this snap. The wind was gentle and chilly, but the sun made up for that!
Are you letting your eyes relax and letting the hike come to you?
Of course a hike wouldn't be complete without the company of the fearless Katie hunter.
Do you know that at one point, long before Katie came home with Mr. Happy and I ... I feared that she wouldn't like to hike or even like the outdoors for that matter? It's a bit silly now, but I feared that this adventurous outdoors loving couple would have a couch potato of a dog that didn't want to get dirty.
I am so glad that my worrying was so silly. Now I am convinced that just by saying the word D-O-G... you are saying outdoor loving, nose to the ground, covered in dirt, and happier than heck! She's the best hiking buddy I could have ever dreamed of! Mr. Happy thinks so too!
Are you feeling the corners of your mouth rise into a smile... and maybe even let out a little chuckle?
The sun was brighter than it had been for quite some time and it made for a wonderful dance through the woods. I slowed the pace a little with my obessive picture taking, but now.. looking back I am so glad I did. Just look at how a few rocks and green moss can have so much character!
Are you feeling your feet planted on the ground? Sturdy and strong and ready to support you?
This picture reminds me of chaos and order. Bet you didn't think those two things could be harmoniously side by side? Well, take a closer look. The straight order of the trees. Each one the proper thickness and all standing straight at attention... not a soldier out of line.
Contrast that with the chaotic pile of mishapen and snow covered rocks. The sizes are all different, they aren't in any noticable pattern. They are all free spirits collected and strewn in a place of order. Nature's reminder of the saying, "it takes all kinds."
Are you feeling your toes flex with the reminder that you can do all sorts of things?
Oddly enough, even when these types of rocks are placed in some pattern of order they manage to find their own way, their independence to do what is best. For some that means staying in this rock wall and for others it meant finding a way out of the norm and wiggling or moving or flat out running till it felt more comfortable.
A reminder to me that I don't always have to stay perfectly lined up and do what is expected. A reminder that sometimes I need to find the strength to wiggle and do what feels best!
Can you feel your fingers extend and stretch reminding you that so much is within your reach?
I know these aren't your typical "hiking" thoughts, but I think that's what I am trying to say.
Take a slow breath inwards and let it out even slower... now you can start to feel what hiking does to my brain! It makes me aware, it brings in abundant oxygen, it lifts me up!
The walking opens my brain. It lets my brain breath. It lets me take a new angle on a thought. I think Mr. Happy and I have made all of our best, biggest, and most live changing decisions in some form or another on a hike. Heck, our first date was even a hike (20 miles or so)!
Finding ways to be comfortable in your own brain = happiness!
Remembering the power of walking in the woods as a way to tackle life's crazy big dilemas = happiness!