Sunday, February 17, 2013

Soar Like an Eagle

Living on the east coast, I have many excuses for not going outside in winter. It’s cold, for one thing. I might fall on the ice, for another (as a yoga practitioner, however, my balance is pretty good!). I don’t like skiing (my balance is not that good), and when the wind blows on a bitingly frosty day in New Jersey (like today) the option of staying in bed with a cup of tea and listening to the chimes tinkling madly (or happily) on the deck seems to make a lot more sense than braving the elements.
            With very little effort, I can talk myself into staying indoors. But yesterday my husband (who runs in any kind of weather) lured me into a walk. Instead of our usual route we set out in another direction, and before we knew it we were at a spot where many a time we have spied an eagle. Sure enough, an immense bird was sitting atop a tree, and as we approached he soared into the sky, his (or her) huge wingspan impressive as he flew over the river. It was a sight to behold, and I have to admit that I chided myself a bit over the near-possibility that I might have missed it.
            So today, I set out again even though the temperature was lower and the wind more harsh, thinking, well, who knows what I’ll miss if I stay in my cozy home all day? Half way through my walk (alone this time) however, I began to feel foolish. Why hadn’t I just stayed in? No eagles were soaring--not even a hawk. Nothing spectacular seemed to be happening in the sky above.
            But then I looked at the ground, and noticed how beautifully the snow glittered in the sunlight, and the ice cracking on the sidewalk reminded me of a day in my childhood when my best friend and I decided to “accidentally” fall into a wide, deep puddle. We were probably six or seven at the time, and for some reason that puddle just looked like it needed a good splashing. So, holding hands and giggling, in we went! Then, covered with mud and water, we ran home to change and tell my mother about our little “mishap.”
            Believe me, I have nothing against hunkering down with a good book on a cold day. But I also think it’s important to get out in the wind, the snow, the sun, breeze, rain (but not freezing rain), the frost, the dew, and the air. I know a few too many folks who automatically shut down as soon as the temp dips below 50. But my advice is to bundle up and get out there; you just never know when an eagle will soar overhead or a puddle will call out to be jumped in!

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