Wednesday, September 24, 2014

"The Season of Rain is Coming. Hold out Your Hand."

How having not only the right gear, but the right attitude can prepare you for the oncoming seasonal transition towards the end of summer...

The late Greta Wrolstad's poem "Fontaine de Vaucluse" speaks of rivers being released into a parched valley. Droughts along the west coast have dried lakes to record low water levels and shriveled river systems into a series of puddles making it impossible for anadromous fish to travel upstream to spawn. Forest fires have spread smoke miles across surrounding areas unaffected by the flames. It almost seems selfish at this point to mourn the loss of Summer. As the seasons change in the Pacific Northwest, the lack of vitamin D, also known as the "Sunshine Vitamin" changes our moods along with the weather. Rain, although a mild irritation, is a necessary element to our environment. Welcoming, rather than lamenting the transition of sunshine into precipitation is merely a matter of changing your perspective. Replacing your resentment with gratitude will change your attitude.

With the rain, the dust settles. Crispy brown grass that once invited fires to spread and consume everything in it's path like a virus will become lush, green vegetation. The moisture of the soil invites mycelium to spread beneath the layer of debris on the forest floor. The rising river levels push smolts out to sea, and invite adult salmonids upstream to create their next generation.

Fall is the return of football season, jumping into piles of leaves and hoodie weather. It's important for our psychological seasonal transition to be like water, and go with the flow. Pull your rain gear out of the closet and run it through the wash. Have a good pair of boots. Replace your windshield wipers and tires. Make sure the batteries in your headlamp are still good as the days begin to end earlier than you've become accustomed to. Maintain your physiological health with a stash of Vitamin D. Prepare yourself mentally for the challenges of maintaining an active lifestyle and have all the necessary items to prevent yourselves from being discouraged to go outdoors, rain or shine.

This piece was published by The Good Men Project on September 28th, 2014

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