Let’s Go Play Outside

After an intense and blistering heatwave, these last five days or so have been remarkably beautiful in northwest Missouri. Highs in the low to mid 80’s, lows in the 60’s, abundant sunshine, gentle cooling breezes….it’s the type of weather that makes the outdoors just call to you. Sadly, for most of us in the working world, the spectacular weather occurs during the work week. While I am gifted with the ability to work from my back porch – make no mistake I’m grateful for this – there’s so much that calls to the soul. Setting up trail cams, embarking on adventures of exploration in the canoe, hiking distant hillsides, scouting for game, fishing, camping, and so on.

In some extreme respects, having no choice but to yield to work on amazing, beautiful summer days should be considered a crime against humanity. There! It has been said. As these days of *perfect* weather become increasingly rare amidst extremes to either end of the spectrum, the joyful soul must harness the ephemeral gift of their presence for the fleeting moments during which we are graced. Time….weather….adventure….and seasons of life….wait for no one.

This journey of time and space which each of us have been gifted passes before us like the countryside as viewed from a bullet train. We are afforded fleeting glimpses of paradise whilst we are whisked from one location to the next by the momentum of many tons of metal propelled forth by unseen locomotion. Our eyes drink in and savor lush pasture land, dense forest, mountains and hills, before we are awash in the unsightly relics of so called ‘progress’.

On remarkably beautiful days such as this each one of us feels the longing for our youth, where the long days of summer bend to our whims and our newly found freedom enables us to roam at our leisure. Where adventure awaits whether it was in our neighborhood, a nearby woodland glade, on our bikes, at summer camp, or between the pages of a book under the shade of a big friendly tree.

We need more times like that as adults. In fact, it means far more than it did in our youth. The stresses and pressures of modern life and ‘adulting’ squeeze us from all ends, and time spent away from the office, house, and car engaging in ‘play’ can heal us from the inside out. The rejuvenating powers of playing in nature are well documented. It’s our time over which we need to exert our control. “Play” now needs to become a priority. As absurd as that sounds to the modern ear, the ripple effects will undoubtedly lead to a vastly improved quality of life. Beautiful weather is becoming a rare gift. Let’s cherish it, and allow ourselves to be healed and revived on these gorgeous days.

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