Soul Food

I spend much of my time hunkered in front of my computer these days.  Writing, promoting, looking for freelance gigs, networking.  All much more easily done in the winter with gray skies and cold temps outside the door.

I have been getting at least some exercise–you can’t own a dog and not get some. Sophie and I usually take a 30-60 minute walk in the middle of the day if it’s not raining and I’m not swamped with deadlines.

But while research feeds my mind and exercise strengthens my body, there is a far more important part of myself I too often forget.

The other day when it was sunny though cold out, I decided our usual pedestrian route was too boring so Sophie and I drove to Alki Point and walked along there for a while.  Sophie was delighted to have new territory to explore, especially when it included green grass she could run in and I could not but be delighted to watch her joyfulness.

Today I felt like crap all morning.  Woke up with a headache, kept getting sidetracked from the project I’m supposed to be working on, and felt tired from the moment I got out of bed. But Sophie is irresistible when she gives me that expectant look just after lunch is digested.  Since I wasn’t up to our usual downhill then uphill walk, we drove to Alki again, thinking at least it was a flat walk.

I need to have crap days more often, because this one led to a rejuvenation I wasn’t expecting.

Was it the crisp, fresh air blowing in from the ocean filling my lungs?  Was it the long view across the water that always tastes like a cold drink of water on a hot summer day, no matter how cold the day actually is? Was it the crash of the waves or the arc of the seagulls in the blue sky, or the joyful dog trotting from smell to smell like a kid who’s just discovered candy?

It was more than that, it was all of that.  While these things happened, my soul took a huge indrawn breath. My center drank it in and began to freshen and green up again.  The essence that has always been there, always is there, entered my consciousness again, reminding me I am not only, I am all.  I am connected to these things in nature–I am nature, one of the threads in a massive tapestry that lives and breaths and has life.

Whether or not you believe in God or any kind of higher power, there is a part of you that knows this, too.  This part of you–your soul, your spirit, your id, whatever you want to call it–needs to be fed.  Water, sky, wind and mountains feed my soul.  What feeds yours?

Maybe this breathtaking video of murmuring swallows will serve as an appetizer;


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