This month I dared Kristen to sweat (or, more specifically, to get outside despite the increased likelihood of sweating). I theorized that we’d experience beauty, connect with others and ourselves, dream a little, and get some exercise.
How’d we do?
Oh, I sweated this month.
Twenty days this month were over 80 degrees, and no day was below 75 degrees. And I live in Massachusetts. We have what meteorologists like to call “the Three H’s—Hazy, Hot, and HUMID” So, yeah, I have gotten my sweat on. Literally.
I did my best to get Out There, too, though. There was the hiking up Mt. Chocorua in New Hampshire, and the hiking at Mt. Greylock in Massachusetts with Mary. There was a beautiful saunter at the Sachuest National Wildlife Reserve in Middletown, on Aquidneck Island. I even kept up with my garden (mostly, Wild & Unruly is the look I have been going for, okay?!).
I’ve been thinking a bit more about the idea of pilgrimages, and of connecting with the Almighty, and of finding my way. In these few short weeks, I’ve not gotten very far. It is something that I think I will be sitting with and stewing on for a while, yet. And, I’m okay with that.
July in Maryland has been a bit challenging. We’ve had record-breaking rain the last few weeks (my cherry tomatoes actually exploded from the rapid input of water) with thunderstorms forecast almost every day. Despite this, I managed to connect with others more than I anticipated.
Early in the month, before the rains, we had some new neighbors over for s’mores. It was unplanned and delightful to watch our kids chase lightning bugs and smear goopy warm marshmallow on their faces after toasting them in our jack-o-lantern-shaped chiminea. (It’s Halloween somewhere.)
As we reported already, Kristen and I were able to bond in real life, which included a gorgeous day out seeing the Bridge of Flowers and exploring around the top of Mt. Greylock.
Also before the rains, I camped out several times in the backyard with two of my kids.
Once things got soggy, we started taking short walks anywhere we could grab a relatively dry spell. My oldest and her wife came to visit and re-introduced us to Pokemon Go, giving the younger kids new incentive to get outside. We also spent some time at a local manmade pond admiring the turtles and birds. It was gratifying to see that the actual wildlife still captivated the kids more than the screens (though I myself enjoy both, and refuse to demonize the fun little app—I’m not yet that curmudgeonly).
Because of travel and visitors, I didn’t get out on my own much. I did manage to grab a few morning walks, though, and even a few sunrises over the water.
The month didn’t include long hikes in state parks like I’d envisioned. I didn’t increase my endurance or shed a bunch of pounds. But I did get to connect with friends and family and expand my heart a bit. It was well worth every drop of sweat.