By Bradley Robertson
It has become a habit that when I rise in the morning, my eyes immediately seek the light seeping in my window beside my bed. At first through closed eyelids, then with blinking lashes, waking up to a new day.
It is this new light of day that my eyes open at all, simply to see, to catch a little hope and sunshine.
When I finally get up, I pull on my jacket and boots to step outside and feel this thing that my eyes have seen. I pour my cup of coffee and open my front door. All that is crisp touches my face and day falls over me. The feeling of cool, clean air, confirming that I am here.
I walk down our front steps and a short distance over grass, keeping my focus on the beauty of a colorful and lavish sunrise. I feel like I’m in the middle of a dome with vast sky in every direction. It is nothing to take for granted and everything to savor. The view stops me every morning at the fence line and there I stand, staring into creation.
I find myself in perfect peace and so I hand my day over to God. Kind of like saying, “here it is Lord. I know it’ll be great.”
And so, this is my beginning. Light and Earth, coffee and views.
I remember when I first met my wild husband, Mr. Robertson, I was caught by the way he so easily woke up, everyday just as the sun came up. And not just Monday through Friday, but every single day. It took years after we married for me to get used to this.
Today however, I totally get it. There is a strong and real connection between our bodies, our minds and the ways of this Earth. I have taken time recently to study up on sunlight and our health, and the science behind it is fascinating. And not just light but being tied to the ground too. This Earth is our home and the way in which we feel it, see it and touch it holds more positive power than one can imagine.
Some of the happiest days of my life were when I worked at our market, George’s, six days a week. Many factors played into this, but I believe the number one component was being outside all day, every day. Taking in all the earth, all the beauty, all the air and all the sun had to offer.
Today, I’m sharing with you small steps you can take for better health and wellness from the great outdoors. Whether it be sunlight, playing in the dirt or exercise, it all matters. Feeling our best everyday rests in our hands, and when we care for ourselves, that personal affection produces positive fruit all around us. Get at least 30 minutes of sunshine daily. The first light of day being the most important. This can be sitting on a porch reading, a walk in your neighborhood, eating lunch on your patio, coffee at a park, or even playing with your kids or a pet. I prefer to get a lot more than 30 minutes, but for those of us that work in doors, that can be harder. Find a way that works best for you and let that good sunshine fill you up. Enjoy outdoor scenery. The sights and sounds of nature cannot be replaced. The pretty things of our Earth create luster and joy to our eyes and ears. Trees, flowers, birds, natural water, dirt, grass and the list goes on. “For the beauty of the Earth” rings in our bodies. We are so very blessed to live in Alabama. May we take it all in daily in some way. What the eyes see, the soul also feels. Get moving. Exercise is important for many reasons, natural endorphins, heart health, body wellness, mood and behavior. At minimal three days week, for 20 to 30 minutes. I have a sweet friend that has begun to walk on her lunch break a few days a week, still making time to eat but using her time wisely to boost her spirits and her body. Walking, yoga, gardening, biking, hiking with kids. Now is the perfect time of year before summer heat sets in. Plan an outing. New sights and sounds are inspiring and lead us into new ideas and fun. There are many places close to home, here are a few: Callaway Gardens, Smith Mountain Fire Tower, The AU Arboretum, Kiesel Park and Chewacla State Park.
Play in the dirt. As adults, we forget the playfulness of getting our hands dirty. Potting plants, pulling weeds, planting a vegetable garden, even mowing grass. I am not a natural gardener, but when I decide to get my hands dirty, it ends up being great fun. Watching the beauty of my labor becomes inspiring and I enjoy it more and more every time I try.
How can you be connected to your Earth this spring? I pray my list inspires you to get outdoors and enjoy all that is around us. Let’s not miss out, there is too much beauty waiting out there for us all!