If you happen to live in the Midwest or East Coast, being outside was NOT something you were probably doing on purpose. If you were, I’m sure you were covered head to toe in some kind of thick, down material. Single digit temperatures are just plain wrong. I don’t care if I did grow up in Buffalo. I’m not a cold weather fan.

But there’s something about being OUTSIDE on purpose that’s healing. And renewing. And refreshing. Isn’t that why, we fling open the windows at the first flower bud? To drown out the staleness that perpetual indoors brings us. To feel alive.

But how often do we take the SOUNDS of outside for granted. Or perhaps even better, the zero sound that winter has the potential to bring.

If you’re a die- hard outdoor runner, I’m guessing you wear ear buds playing your favorites. Since I’m not a runner, and pretended just briefly in my life, I can assure you that the only thing that kept me moving was the Beastie Boys Ill Communication album in its entirety. This was before fancy playlists.

And if you’re a dog walker, you might be more concerned with picking up (or hiding) Sparky’s manure. Or trying to rush your steps before he sees the next squirrel, that you actually miss the sound the squirrel makes.

So this week, we’re outside. Just for 5 minutes, but please stay longer if you’d like. Pick a time when you’re by yourself. Put on as many layers as you need to and escape outside. Linger at the mailbox and just take it in. What beauty do you see? What sounds do you hear? What do you smell?

And please don’t try and document it. Don’t take a photo and say I was here. Just be still. You can always tell me about the magic you experienced the next day.

Misfit Hugs, Kim

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