I've always had a strong connection to the outdoors. I've never been one to pick up and go for a 4 mile run (although I hope to one day) or sign up for a mud run. No, no..I delight in just being outside. I love the smell of the air right before it rains, the feel of cold grass on your toes. I love rolling down the windows on a foggy or misty morning. I stand outside as the tornado warning goes off to feel the stillness of the air. The smell of burning leaves or a fire pit sends me over the edge. The fresh smell that comes when Spring is near. I guess you could say I have a thing for smells....
The smell of the morning air in the South can be intoxicating and it can breathe new life into even the gloomiest of moods. When the weather is just right (like today) you'll be walking on sunshine.
My parents and extended family are from the South and we were fortunate enough to spend some real quality time down in Alabama over the years. The family lives outside of town, in the country, and the air there is so fresh. I always knew we were getting close on our road trips because you would begin to smell the pine and the red dirt. It's so energizing just to drink it in.
When we found out we were moving to Atlanta I was thrilled largely because I knew I'd get to smell that pine everyday! Wooohoo!
This past year it has become somewhat of a routine to go hiking through the many trails of Kennesaw Mountain on any given morning. Kennesaw Mountain is a former Civil War battlefield rich in history and has miles and miles of trails. The Lil' Fella and Hubs enjoy it too which is a score. If I'm lucky enough I can squeeze in a solo hike and just clear my mind from any of the days distractions. I feel like I need to send a thank you note to the mountain because over the last year it has opened my eyes to what it means to live simply and enjoy life's purest pleasures (a real life goal of mine..more on that later).
This is the opposite to our usual routine which is why I probably love it so much. We are ALWAYS going somewhere it seems. We're going to Target, going to Monkey Joe's, going to the grocery store, going to eat, going going going..it's hard to sit still. It's part of our DNA I think and I'm fairly certain we exhaust our parents when they are in town. However, having these little unplanned adventures have provided the memories and evoked the feelings that only mother nature can do. It makes me want to be outside all of the time! It makes me want to invest in a kayak, purchase my dream vintage camper right away, and find some really challenging hikes and gorgeous waterfalls. We have a bucket list of adventures awaiting us this year in the South.
Just the other weekend we chose a new route, and came across 4 Buck just out for a leisurely stroll. The Lil' Fella was so excited to see "reindeer" and we talked about them along our walk. We spent a good amount of time collecting 'big' rocks to throw into the stream and daydreaming about our future dog splashing in the water. Before we knew it we had been gone for almost 4 hours. It was fantastic!
This last Sunday when the rest of Atlanta was inside freezing (after all, 4 snowflakes fell and it was 40 degrees) we made a bonfire, roasted hot dogs and s'mores. It was one of the best Sundays I've had in a long time.
Those are the best days. Just get outside and enjoy the free entertainment that Mother Nature has provided. Take a walk down the street, sit outside at a park and people watch. If you're in Georgia then I suggest just getting out, taking a deep breath and hitting the mountain! Adventure awaits! Life is ours to enjoy.