i need to go outside and play…

The indigenous people of the Andes believe that our world is the body of the Earth Mother, Pachamama. That we are inseparable from her and we need to pay her homage, live within her, as she is within us. I was thinking about this earth-honoring that their lives center around, and was struck by the sheer simplicity, and genius of their belief.

Life in 2014 is busy, insane, really. We fill our precious free time with computers, cell phones, technology and other man-made objects meant to distract us. We were not made to sit in cubicles and at small desks, to stare at screens all day instead of interacting with people. This disconnect we have from nature is in part responsible for the depression, diabetes and discontent that plagues each generation in growing numbers.

No society 200 years ago had to be told that being in the country was good for them, that a day at the beach under the sun would recharge their batteries. We have replaced healthful living with work, stress and fast-paced workouts in the morning, so we can get on with our day. I dream of being able to work in an environment that promotes health and well being. Where I am not cooped up inside all day, but can at least access the sun and fresh air on generous breaks. Long ago, I would spend my work weeks at a ridiculous pace, pushing myself to get all collateral duties finished early so I could enjoy my days off without interruption. I would drive up to Eureka, fly to Ketchikan or Seattle to hike, swim, rock climb. I would fly to Mexico, Belize and Florida to swim, dive, and lay on small tree-covered beaches and splash among Mangroves. Every penny I had, every free moment was spent racing back to the natural world, back pack in tow. I was deeply happy, sun-kissed and self-assured. I was strong, healthy and felt I could do anything at all, there were no boundaries in my head. It was an exhilarating way to live, and I deeply miss those times, and wish circumstances had allowed me to raise my foxing in the same manner.

I am now a cliche… 40something overweight woman, separated, with a child at home. Living life smaller than we wish, doing all we can with the resources we have. It is not a bad life, just confining. The Professor left in part because he felt he could not achieve what he wanted with me by his side. I hope he can create the life he is searching for, and that my foxing and I will have the opportunity to do the same. This waiting is hard, but promises of a richer, more satisfying life make me work toward our goals with a smile on my face. Do not get me wrong, it is not a bad life. I love teaching my brilliant daughter, I adore our free time together, and how she begins every day with a renewed purpose. We do explore our natural world as much as possible, but in truth things always seem a little gloomy during the winter in our neck of the woods. By throwing on ski pants and heading out to play in the snow, we are taking advantage of what we have in front of us. I know that our path will lengthen, there will be many adventures around the curves ahead. For now, the cold air and bright sunlight are tiding us over until spring, when our world will once again burst bright and new.

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