we could go for a hike

I was standing in the kitchen, furiously wiping the counter and listing off all the tasks I had yet to complete that day: bake a cake, take a shower, go to the store, clean the bathrooms, and about twenty more I can't even remember, that's how non-essential they were.
Matt listened, then calmly said, "Well, we could go for a hike."
And after I finished laughing and muttering something sarcastic about how helpful that was, I realized he was completely serious. And that he had already started packing a bag and putting together a picnic.
So with more than a few misgivings, I went. I went, knowing that philosophically speaking, this was a good thing. After all, I believe in going for hikes even when there's a lot to do. I believe in getting outside. And I definitely believe that we should look back at spring break remembering more than how many tasks got done. But I didn't really want to go until my feet actually hit the ground and fresh air hit my nose.
And it was great. Of course it was: scrambling over rocks, climbing on fallen logs, navigating new terrain. When Finn was a baby he didn't cry a lot. But when he did, if we had any trouble soothing him, we took him outside. Something about the fresh air just calmed him right down, and it still works today, for him, for all of us.
Here I am now, Sunday night, just a few precious hours of break left. I'm thankful for all we did over these last few weeks--visited grandparents, celebrated Finn's birthday with cousins, saw lots of old friends, hosted new friends in our home. And yes, lots of tasks got done too. But mostly, I'm thankful for the time outside: the hikes, playing in the sandbox, running around my parents' backyard, planting radish and spinach seeds. I'm thankful for the sun on our faces, for the dirt on our fingers, for the sand in the hair. I'm thankful for the treasures that come home with us, for Finn's newfound love of foraging edibles, and Willa's newfound love of pockets. I'm thankful for the way that physical space seems to give us emotional space too--breathing space--and how this can help tricky relationships be just a bit easier. Thanks be for this beautiful world, and all that it gives us. And thanks be for those people who help us remember to get out there and enjoy it.  

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