Among the Hills and Dales — A Multi-day Mood Enhancer
A mood-altering simple walk between hill and dale lasts for days.
This one is triggered by a simple thing I did yesterday that produced a feeling good enough to sustain me now. This one act was, in effect, a multi-day mood enhancer.
Yesterday, here in southern Marin County — the first landmass north of the Golden Gate Bridge — was a splendid day. T’was so warm that some, like me, risked ridicule as we bared our sun-deprived, Lille-white torsos to the world.
In my case, I grabbed a book (which I’ll review here someday) by Ray Kurzweil and Terry Grossman, M.D. called Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live Forever. I then drove a short distance to Tennessee Valley, named after the SS Tennessee, a ship that sunk right off the coast where this valley ends.
There’s a loop you can walk in Tennessee Valley, or if fit enough, jog… or if a true athlete, run around, up and down. I don’t know the distance, but there’s enough altitude to make a walk, jog or run challenging enough to leg and lung.
In my youth, I jogged. Yesterday, I walked. Within my fanciful self, someday I’ll jog again. Running… well, thinking that I’ll actually run this loop makes me think of that old distinction between neurotics and psychotics:
A neurotic builds sand castles in the sky, and a psychotic lives in them.
I was breathing pretty deeply at the first apex of the loop, a place that faces the ocean and has several tempting spots for repose. That was the idea. I chose one and settled in with my book.
From time to time, a fellow bare-chested fella (the women were more modest) huffed by, and we glanced at one another and nodded approvingly.
I read about the importance of eating alkalizing food and water. I read about addiction to the simple carbohydrates that are taking a toll on people’s health, weight and is an instigating factor in creating Type 2 diabetes. I read about the glycemic index and glycemic load.[Read The Seriously Serious Problems of Obesity, Diabetes and Obesity, The Diabesity Epidemic – It May Be Coming to You, and How Sugary is Your Blood?]
But what I was reading is irrelevant to the point of this story, which perhaps by now I should get to.
You see, all along the way, the vistas of hill and dale, and of the shimmering, beckoning ocean conspired to inspire me to love life more, despite my problems.
The negative ionization that the ocean puts in the air, along with the rhythm of my breath, the flow of my blood, the simple connections with those passing by, the sweet smells – all this was a mood elevator and, as I mentioned, remains with me today.
And so if there is a lesson to this tale, it is this:
Move, cover yourself with natural beauty, connect with nature and others, read a book that deepens your knowledge… do it enough that it all strings together and conspires to inspire you to cultivate gratitude for your life. Grab a book, or grab a friend, but do take the first step. The rest will follow.
P.S. Hmmm… well, this wasn’t like Seth Godin’s posts after all. Too long. But then, and I say this ruefully; I’m not Seth Godin.