Living in the northeast one feels the change of seasons strongly and suddenly. The weather seems to veer from cold and damp to sunny and glorious with little warning. There are two weeks of terrible black flies, followed by a few weeks of tolerable mosquitoes, and then it is really here: Summer.
About a year ago I decided to restructure my life (our lives) so we could spend more time outdoors. It all started when, sitting on a giant boulder in the woods a few seasons back, I noticed how absolutely good everything felt. Nothing seemed better than just being able to sit quietly in the forest and listen and look.
I go back to that sensation every now and then, when some crisis of modernity threatens and my vision narrows. Remembering that one of the best feelings in the world can be found just through sitting quietly in the outside- it helps with calming down and getting perspective.
There is a difference between the outside that exists in the cities and suburbs, and the outside that exists in the rural areas. Some people thrive in the urban environments, but that has never been me, and as I get older being truly outside feels more and more important.
Our summer preparations include: