If we are friends on Facebook (cindyconey) or you have liked my public page (Cindyconeyfla), you have seen many, many sunrise pictures posted. I just can’t help myself. In our new home, I am fortunate enough to get to walk along Old Tampa Bay each morning. There is just something incredibly magical about the early morning sun coming up over the Bay. I feel compelled to share the beauty.
I have always been a person who loves the outdoors. When I was little, my parents never had to tell me to “Go outside and play.” It was more likely that they would be calling to me to come in when it was getting dark outside. I would spend my days riding my bicycle, skateboarding on a homemade skateboard, or roller skating with a skate key tied on a piece of string around my neck. I loved PE in school and was even awarded a Golden Panther award in Physical Education in high school for my “outstanding performance.” While packing for the recent move to our new home, I realized I had accumulated many running trophies for five and nine mile road races completed over the years (the trophies did not make the move to the new house!). So movement and being outdoors has always been a huge part of my life.
A few things have changed, however, as I have gotten older. My joints have gotten a bit grumpy about certain forms of exercise. Running definitely falls in that category! Now that I have replaced running with a morning walk, I’m amazed at how–simply by slowing down–I’ve come to enjoy the scenery a great deal more. When I was running, I ran past everything, focused on the time ticking by on my watch. Now, with no goal for a personal best time, I see things that I’m sure I would have run right by in the past. Sunrise is one of these things. I cannot imagine a better way to start my day than pausing and watching the spectacular colors that light up the sky as the big orange ball peeks over from the horizon and slowly makes its way skyward. Not only do I pause to enjoy this the way others stand in galleries before beautiful paintings, but all of you Facebook friends know that I also take a picture and post it! I never get bored with this amazing sight (and hope you don’t either!) and find that it is a great start to my day.
Since I have begun meditating and painting, I notice things that I might have missed before; like the hawk that sits most mornings on the power line observing the small beach below him. I’m guessing he (or maybe it is a she) is looking for breakfast. I now notice the contrast between the grass and sky and the colors that so vividly jump out of flowers perched gently in bushes.
This gift of slowing down and observing the beauty of nature is somewhat new to me, yet it is the perfect counterbalance to the health concerns that tend to nag at me when I focus on myself. I find nature incredibly healing. I’ve decided that I’ll keep walking and enjoying (and posting) the amazing beauty of nature and abandon those pesky little thoughts about my health. With any luck at all, they will run away from home while I’m out enjoying the sunrise!