There is magic in the mundane, you just need the right lens to see it. Most people, I’d hazard to guess, just see a pile of laundry that desperately needs to be folded in this photograph. Today I see the magic. I’ve been given the gifts of a husband and children: this laundry reveals I have been entrusted with the care of other’s hearts. I’ve been given a home with electricity and running water, hot water even: this laundry reveals my basic needs are provided for. I can physically perform all the tasks required to complete laundry: I’ve been given the gifts of health and strength. The laundry is never done: I’ve been given a gift that keeps on giving, as long as I have the eyes to see it.
I love when other writers approach me with beautiful ideas to share. When Joey emailed from Europe and asked if she could write something on the adventures we create in our daily lives, I jumped at the chance to see what she had to say.
Read along and start adventuring. Bonus points if you guess which of her suggestions I am going to do in the next few weeks!
Author: Joey Holmes
Her Website: www.coolofthewild.com
“In every walk with nature, one receives much more than he seeks.” – John Muir
I often question why being outdoors is such an important thing to me. Maybe being born in December and being cooped up inside for the first 6 months of my life has something to do with it. Or perhaps it was that, when the weather permitted, my mum would be outside with me on every given opportunity. But whatever the reason, there is something about getting outside and embarking on adventures, no matter their size or ambition, that lights a spark in me.
Recently I have started to take note of the things I say when I’m outside adventuring, and the way I feel or react to my situation. And on reflection I’ve come to realize just how important it is for me to be surrounded by the beauty of nature: an ancient woodland, a colorful bug, a stunning view, the dying light at sunset. These small, seemingly insignificant things are what drive me to get outside as much as possible and to open my eyes to the beauty that is out there.
Last year I challenged myself to cycle 70 miles across Wales, sleep on the beach and cycle back again. I loved the physical and mental challenge and the feeling of independence and strength that it gave me. But I was on a schedule to get from A to B before the sun went down, and I found it really frustrating that I couldn’t take the time to stop and enjoy the waterfall, or to lie down for half an hour to listen to the silence and take in the sense of freedom that my adventure presented. So I promised myself that, moving forward, I would always try to allow for that time of reflection and appreciation of what amazing things nature offers me on my adventures.
This got me thinking about how adventure is so different for everyone. Stepping out of ones comfort zone and embarking on something new, unusual and exciting can be all sorts of things, and doesn’t have to be grand or significantly life changing. Anything from cooking your dinner on a hill after work, to spending weeks at a time exploring far-flung corners of the earth. Regardless of the scale, seeking out adventure always uncovers beauty in one form or another: in your surroundings, in the actions of your fellow adventurers, or in the feeling, emotions and thoughts within you.
With modern life getting busier and more hectic every day, it’s easy not to make the effort to get out adventuring. And even easier to forget to appreciate all that beauty when adventures do happen. So for a little inspiration on how to get some adventure into everyday life, here are a few simple things to try each week:
- Cycle to work instead of your usual mode of transport
- Cook your dinner on a campfire – even if it’s in the backyard!
- Take a walk along a river at sunrise
- Climb a tree in the park
- Have a sunset picnic at a place with a stunning view
- Take a night hike
- Go for a swim before work at your nearest wild swimming spot
- Take a run to your nearest park on your lunch break
- Climb a hill and do some yoga at the top
- Build a den and read your book in it – even if it’s inside
- Take your camp stove to work and make your own coffee in the park at lunchtime
- Hang your hammock in the park after work and enjoy listening to noise of the city
Planning and then embarking upon mini-adventures is a great first step to getting out more. But to truly reap the benefits of all that adventure has to offer, I believe that it’s essential to take the time to sit back and pause. To really breath in all the elements of the beauty that is uncovered through seeking out the unusual, daring and exciting.
So whatever adventure is to you, make sure you do it with open eyes, arms, ears, mind, heart and nostrils(!), to fully absorb all that beauty that’s yours for the taking.
Joey is based in Cornwall, UK, and runs Cool of the Wild. She can’t get enough of being outdoors – whether that’s lounging around the campfire cooking up a feast, or hitting the trail in her running shoes .
You can connect with her here:
If you are interested in contributing to 52 Beautiful things, send an email to 52beautifulthings at gmail dot com.