Snow on the Mountain
Lately, I've been taking care of myself by exercising. I've taken up walking and have set a goal for 2 to 3 miles every day. Rather than going to a gym, I've simply mapped out some routes through the neighborhood where I live.
It takes a solid 55 minutes for me to complete a 3-mile round trip, but it feels wonderful to work up a sweat and to know that I'm burning calories and exercising my heart. I'll be 40 in February and I've realized it's time for me to start taking better care of myself physically.
Exercise is mentally stimulating as well. It wards off depression and sluggishness. After just 1 week of regular walking, I feel better prepared to handle the stress of my work day—especially if I walk in the morning. Also, the discipline of getting up and doing something physical every morning enhances my self-esteem, which has suffered lately from work situations. I just feel better about myself when I exercise regularly.
During my walks, I've been revisiting the 12 Steps rather than listening to music or news on a radio. When I'm outside walking, it is just me and God, reflecting on how I can continue growing spiritually.
Walking is also a fantastic way to enjoy nature. I see twice as much—things I would never notice from a car. One route takes me past a canal full of aquatic birds—cranes, egrets, wild ducks—which aren't afraid of me in the least. They watch me pass by, but don't run or fly away. One evening, I noticed a gorgeous woodpecker—a black and white body and a vibrant, red head—it was like looking at an Audubon Society picture-book.
There are also endless varieties of flowers to see.
Just last night, I walked past a house which had an unusual shrub next to the mailbox. This plant was covered with tiny pink leaves. Pink flowers are not unusual, but a pink shrub? It was so unusual and so beautiful I made a point to walk past it again. This time, an older woman, whom I presume was the resident, was pruning the shrub, so I paused to ask her about it.
She was delighted I had taken notice and was obviously proud of this particular addition to her yard. She offered me a handful of the trimmings for closer inspection. Turns out she was not pruning, but making a bouquet. "Take some home with you and enjoy looking at it," she said. "It's called Snow on the Mountain."
I smiled at the poetic name, perfectly descriptive of the plant's natural beauty. I asked her if I could stop by and photograph it. Of course, she agreed.
Serenity is making the time to see the world and its natural beauty. Serenity is feeling good about our place in the world, regardless of our present circumstances. Serenity is knowing unexpected treasures and gifts await us along the path of self-discovery and healing. All we are required to do is open our hearts, start walking, and partake of the grace and love in which we are held.
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Dear God, thank You for the process of self-discovery and self-growth. Thank You for teaching me valuable lessons from the little surprises You place along my path every day. Amen.
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Staff, H. (2008, November 23). Snow on the Mountain, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, February 3 from https://www.healthyplace.com/relationships/serendipity/snow-on-the-mountain