Gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.
~ GK Chesterton

Saturday, March 1, 2014

7 Posts, 7 Days: Playing & Weather

Welcome to Day 6 of 7 Posts, 7 Days!

In an addendum to Tuesday’s post about spending time in the great outdoors, there’s the matter of climate being a fairly important part of said outdoors.

Only within the last decade or so have I become a firm believer in getting out, no matter what.  Embracing the great outdoors is something I learned by watching others go boldly where I’d never gone. 

For example, my North Dakota midwives.  They saw nothing out of the ordinary in telling me to make sure I was getting in daily walks during a wintertime pregnancy.  [Did you read that: North Dakota.  Winter.  Outside.]  I guess if you’re going to get fresh air and exercise, when living in a cold climate, you’d better bundle up and head out or you’ll be indoors for months at a time. 

More examples that helped me overcome my wimpiness came from the British.  When you live in a place that sees a lot of rain, you simply go out in spite of the weather.  I imagine it’s the same for those who live in the Pacific Northwest.  When we were living in Britain, children’s riding lessons did not get cancelled for rainy or cold weather.  Everyone merely dressed appropriately and carried on with lessons.  In the city where we shopped on Saturday mornings, it didn’t take a genius to observe that a bit of rain didn’t stop people from buying food from outdoor vendors, and actually eating the food outdoors.  Finally, I had one friend who was enthusiastic about making sure she had some sort of physical activity every day; when that meant walking, she was not deterred by weather.  She never treated me with disdain for the wimp that I was, she just described her personal need to get out every day and had the wellies and jacket for those days that would have discouraged a less-determined soul.

In my collection of bookmarked blogs about simplicity and slowing down, there’s Slow Mama.  A week or so ago, she posted an interview with a blogger, an American mom living in Denmark.  Into the Wild: Learning about Forest Kindergarten.  I think it sounds great.  The kids spend their learning time outside.  Click over there to read the specifics.  One thing that jumped out at me was the question of weather.  After all, we’re talking about sending young children to outdoor classroom experiences in the winter, in Denmark.  Here’s the thought on that:

You will definitely hear the adage here — a lot — that there is no bad weather, just poorly chosen clothes. That’s true (somewhat), but Danes do have a lot of gear for layers, and warmth and dressing appropriately is key.

Right! I live in a climate that see harsh cold during the winter, heat and humidity during the summer, and everything in between year-round.  It's time to take a page from people who don't see weather as a hindrance to the outdoor experience.

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