The cold, rainy weather returned this weekend, leaving me in a miserable mood. Well, perhaps it wasn’t the weather so much as the fact that spring break is over, and I’ve got to face the piles of stuff in my office — yellow tablets scribbled with to-do lists, stacks of papers to grade, and mail that’s been opened but not taken care of.
I spent Saturday morning serving as a poetry judge at a competition for high school kids, an event that provided me with a free breakfast, a chance to gossip with other local poets, and an excuse not to do any of my own work. Saturday afternoon, though, I resolved to clean my home office. Unfortunately, that resolution seemed mostly to serve as guilt to prevent me from doing anything fun rather than motivation to actually tackle the piles.
Whenever friends or family are in a miserable mood, I say, “Go outside for two hours! Two hours of unstructured time in nature is as effective as an anti-depressant or anti-anxiety drug.” I’m quite serious about this. I’ve seen the studies.
So yesterday afternoon, I took my own advice. Even though the day was misty and overcast, I drove to a nature center a close friend, Beautiful Hair, and we spend several hours wandering the trails. A light rain touched my hair as we trampled along muddy paths. We talked and talked, our conversation interrupted only when we paused to listen to the stream at the bottom of the valley. Dead brown leaves are still predominate in the woods, but we admired the brilliant green mosses, the ferns that still lay flat on the ground, and the tiny spring flowers that are just now beginning to appear.