So, people, it’s time to get outside – to muse joyfully beneath the sky, under the sun, in the snow, on the ice, in the woods.
I muse joyfully this week on getting outside both literally and figuratively. I muse joyfully on putting on gloves, boots, and, occasionally skis to go play in the snow – to feel the brisk winter’s wind, to enjoy a reprieve from screens, from clocks, from dishes, from walls, from people. Outside is beautiful in New Hampshire – all of it – the mountains, the beaches, the air…
Outside is such a fun word. Let’s go outside! “Get outside!” my mother would insist. When I lived in Alaska, I learned “outside” referred to the lower 48 states. I’d ask someone where they got their coat or where they were going for the weekend, and I’d hear, “Outside.” Initially, I did not know what that meant, I soon learned “outside” was on occasion, Seattle, sometimes San Francisco, but nowhere in Alaska…which, of course, seems ironic in that Last Frontier is a most wonderful locale for discovery of the beautiful outside.
And, in my mind, it’s never too cold to get outside. That, dear readers, is the beauty of clothes. I can layer, put on a scarf, a coat or sweater and get beneath that great blue sky – or grey sky – or snow-filled sky. It’s beautiful outside – even when it isn’t.
It’s also time for me to get outside myself. When I’ve been inside too much, chances are, I’ve been inside my head far too often. When I deliver some popcorn to the local homeless shelter, when I go help a friend, when I giggle with my daughter over our little plastic hands, I know I’ve gotten outside myself – and it’s glorious. I get a reprieve from that dark, winter mind.
As I type this, inside, of course, I’m itching to finish. I’ll go to Rye this afternoon with my trusty dog, Luc, walk the beach, listen to the waves, which never stop in winter, never seem too cold, crash in spite of the weather, the temperature, the time of year. I’ll wear a hat, don some thick gloves, bask in the bright sun, delight in the locale of New Hampshire and the freedom of a walk.
And I will leave my phone at home, leave the screens for inside. When I skied last weekend at Gunstock, I deliberately left all distracting screens at home. It was glorious and free. Outside is the loveliest screen of all. In fact, I’m going to go stare at it now before the sun goes down, before I’m distracted by some political insanity, distracted by that guy who, with his orange tan, curiously appears to have been outside but I’m not sure he really has. Hmmmm…..
So, get outside and muse joyfully beneath the sky…travel light, screen-free and embrace the peace of a cool breeze, a gentle chill, a truly interactive experience. I’ll see you next week…
Susan Dromey Heeter, a writer from Dover who recently let her hair go au natural white, debuts her new column “Joyful Musings” at InDepthNH.org. Dromey Heeter is a secondary Spanish Teacher at Dover High School and the mother of two teenage daughters. Writing has been her passion since her English majoring days at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Dromey Heeter has lived in The Netherlands, Alaska and currently basks in all things New England, including the frigid winters. An avid swimmer, Dromey Heeter’s great passion is to bring back body surfing as most children have no idea how to ride waves without ridiculous boogie boards. She also writes about thrift shopping and all things frugal in a column called “Budget Vogue” for the New Hampshire Union Leader.