If you follow me on social media, you may have seen my recent post where I did something some would consider out of character, especially for a Californian.
I went for a walk in the snow we had here in Tennessee recently. It was just a dusting, but I took some time out of my morning to watch the feathery flakes float through the air as they made their journey to become part of the frosty blanket that covered my path. I listened to the sounds my footsteps made as the snow crackled under my boots in the quiet and stillness of the woods in wintertime.
I gazed upward and opened my mouth to taste the chill on my tongue and I observed our forest and appreciated how Mother Nature redecorated for winter. All color was gone and replaced with only shades of gray.
Instead of only noticing trees seemed dormant, I appreciated the sculptural beauty of the hibernating trees with their naked limbs raised to the sky and thought that humans should embrace this season as beautifully as the trees.
Wintertime is a wonderful time to allow your body and mind to fall in line with nature and slow down. There is a new bloom looming, so as humans we need to take advantage of this time to prepare ourselves for spring. I don’t see this as a resolution as much as a practice we should put into place each year instead of dreading the shorter days and staying inside when it’s cold out.
Steve and I lived in California and became accustomed to there being virtually no seasons. I believe our bodies crave seasons. Nature knows wintertime is a time for rest and slowing down in preparation for the next season which is full of life and rebirth and a new bloom.
One of the reasons we moved here was to be more in sync with that natural clock that nature follows. We feel like we needed to as well.
The forest in wintertime offers a completely different experience than other seasons. There are fewer birds and other wildlife, so it’s wonderfully quiet allowing you to hear things you might not be able to hear when the springtime forest is full of activity.
Steve and I started taking forest walks in the colder weather and realized we could see vistas that aren’t visible when the tree canopies hide what’s behind them. We learned you can enjoy a cold-weather walk with all your senses.
We listened to the creek water trickling over rocks and heard the leaves crunching under foot.
And the mushrooms!
We discovered all sorts of mushrooms growing. There aren’t many mushrooms in California because it’s too dry.
Not only are mushrooms beautiful, so many of them are incredible for us. Mushrooms like Reishi & Lion's Mane are present in the forests here, and they feature immune boosting qualities and much more. The winter means that many of these healing mushrooms are laying dormant in the wild, but their powerful medicinal properties are still apart of my winter routine through our Cocoa Magic Mushroom Blend. It is the perfect companion (along with Steve ;) ) on these chilly morning walks!
One thing we have begun to really explore after moving to Tennessee is the benefit of spending more time outside. It’s important for our bodies to interact with all the good bacteria that exists in the outdoors. Breathe it in. It’s a very healthy thing to do.
Steve and I enjoy reading information from Dr. Zach Bush, who believes a diverse environment is good for your body’s microbiome. He is an internationally recognized educator and thought leader on the microbiome as it relates to health, disease, and food systems. His passion for education includes topics such as the role of soil and water ecosystems in human genomics, immunity, and gut/brain health.
So the next time you look out your window and see what looks like dark, damp, cold outdoors, change your perspective to looking for the benefits the cold weather brings. The differences from warmer weather. They aren’t all bad. Find the quiet, seek out the sounds in the stillness and take a deep breath of nature’s cold air.
Let us know how you like to get outside and take advantage of cold weather. We hope to hear you are getting out in the woods yourselves and seeing it for all the beauty it has to offer.