My brain chemistry changes when I’m outside. I don’t have to do anything, but the more time I’m outside the better I feel. If I go as far as I can away from other humans and just…feel and just…listen, things shift dramatically.
It’s not just me, actually. This happens to all humans.
There is the noticing. There’s a bird on the fence wire. A rustling in the tall grasses from the wind. Korra panting from working out (5 mile hike). There’s the balance of interior thoughts about life and my place in it, and then there are the thoughts about what my body is experiencing.
I think being on a hike is probably the safest place for someone with my particular neurology to do sporty. If you get a little distracted on a hike, you won’t likely fall over (like skiing), or have breathing issues (scuba diving), topple over on a sidewalk and scrape your legs/knees (running), or crash onto yourself and the ground (bicycling.) Ask me how I know…
Anyway, being a distractible human works well with hiking, especially when by myself. I can bounce between thoughts on the class I’m taking (online with amazing women, called Reclamation) and taking stock on what cancer has taught me so far. Then I can notice the dirt and how the landscape compares to other landscapes. I look down and pick up pebbles and soil and examine them. I break off a piece of a tall brown grass stem and crumble it slowly as I hike, fidgeting and thinking. Hiking allows me to be the most me, thinking and noticing and pausing and reflecting.
I stood for a while just listening.
For a long moment I heard nothing but wind.
Nothing at all.
That was some magic.