For the last few years, I’ve walked from my house to the Hungry Bear at 6 AM every Thursday for breakfast. It’s 1 mile to there and takes approximately 23 minutes. Often when it’s very cold out or raining, I’ll get asked by Trish, the waitress, if I walked today as I come through the side door turning off my headlamp and shedding layers. Sometimes Bob and Kevin who I meet will ask if I want a ride home. My response is always the same – “A little discomfort can be very good for you!”
Many folks ask why on earth would you do such a thing when the weather is severe or not perfect. Don’t you have an able car in the drive? Right then I just grin knowing no matter what I say they won’t get the whimsical wonders I’ve discovered and even if they do get it they will most likely have an excuse of course on why they couldn’t possibly do such a thing.
I step out my door all bundled up, the darkness and cold engulf me as I look up to a sky radiating with stars. I’m fortunate in one way to live in a town with very few streetlights. My words are always the same, “Good morning, Universe”. It’s a hell of a way to start my day.
I head up the hill and my heart starts pumping and from within I hear – “Morning”. Entering into the neighborhood of pines, Mr. Moon shakes my hand. Reaching the top, I’m rewarded with constellations and a distant planet if I’m lucky. This show is all mine!
The cold or the rain don’t bother me. I’m usually well prepared. What it does though is it takes me back. Back to my youth as I tracked to school, not always properly prepared, counting down and reciting all the street names as I cursed the cold, rain, or my parents for not driving me. It takes me back to being drenched and jumping through puddles on the way home or getting excited to being able to go sledding with friends. Time just stops and I remember.
I have gotten spooked from time to time as my light reflects off the eyes of deer next to the road and once I even saw a bear. That will WAKE you up! You just see and experience so much more when you walk. Squirrels and rabbits darting here and there. Flashes of curiosity as you see within a lighted room wondering who’s awake and what their life looks like?
Heading back home I’m often graced with spectacular sunrises hitting the surrounding mountains. I can’t help to stop and notice the pinks and reds on the clouds as my heart applauds. I’m grateful for being attuned to the now and being able to experience each season with a front row seat not hiding behind surfaces.
For many of us, we shy as far away as possible to discomfort. It may be time to face some and discover a whole new world on the other side?