This morning, I read LiveJournal while I had breakfast. It was depressing, because several of my friends are grieving. I had only barely met eck myself, and if I even exchanged a word with him in the last 10 years, I did so without realizing who I was talking to. But my friends are hurting, and that hurts me.
Then I took my usual morning walk around the block before driving to work. As soon as I walked over the bridge at the back corner of my property and started walking through the woods, peace just flowed into me. The closest I can put it in words is that it is for my soul what massage is for my body. I stopped to admire a male cardinal, and thought about how strikingly beautiful a bird he is, even though he's a common enough sight that I don't usually think about it. After I'd been standing for half a minute, a deer that had been standing in the bushes 20 feet from me ran away. I admired the red-spotted purple butterfly. But mostly, I just drank in the cool, shady peace. I didn't linger, and by the time I was back on my own lane walking toward my car I found myself thinking about what I needed to do at work today, but enough of the peace remained that I can face the day.
For all of you who are grieving, or just stressed, depressed, or unhappy, take the time to walk a few minutes where you can't see any other people through the trees. Look at the birds and the butterflies and the flowers. Breathe the fresh air. Relax for a moment, even if you can only take a moment out of your day. It will do you good.