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A River Runs Through It

It was a long winter and the month of April seemed to last forever here in Toronto, with lots of clouds, grey cold weather, rain and snow.

I am generally a really positive person and I know better than to let the weather get me down. After all there is nothing we can do about the weather so why not focus on the things we can control and not worry about the things we cannot.

But, for the last month or so I have been having a tough time finding inspiration. And I have been wondering: why? For me this is strange territory.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, the sun came out! The temperature went up into the 20s! And BOOM! The world burst open with the sights and sounds and colours and smells of Spring. New life abounds. Birds are back from vacation and are singing a new song to celebrate. (By the way, do they have to start at 4:00am? Just sayin’.) People who look like they have not seen the light of day for months are everywhere outside: crowding the yards, sidewalks, hiking and biking paths, beaches, rivers and forest trails.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the winter too. Getting outside and staying active in the winter is essential to my physical wellbeing and mental attitude. But sometimes things seem a bit unbalanced. The winter might feel a bit too long or the shoulder season a little too grey.

But then, all of a sudden when the weather takes a real turn for the better, balance is restored. Mother Nature does her thing, and everything comes back into proper perspective.

The simple act of getting outside matters. As I was taking a walk by the river on the weekend, and watching the water flowing by peacefully, yet rapidly and relentlessly circumnavigating every obstacle thrown in its path, I was struck by a thought.

This river is a metaphor for how life works or should work. Always moving forward, searching for and finding a way around or through the difficult and challenging things that obstructs its course. Never stopping, always reaching its goal, and then finally releasing and giving itself up to its higher purpose; the lake or the ocean.

It doesn’t matter whether you are young or old, fit or infirm, happy or sad – getting outside and taking in all that is around you makes a positive difference in how you feel. You could be the kind of person who wants to hike up a mountain or just take your kid to the park. It’s all good. Go for a walk or sit on a bench and watch the people go by, I don’t care. Just get out there!

And by the way, it is not necessary to take a photo of everything. Leave your phone in your pocket!

So, enough reading. Get outside. It’s a beautiful day!

Have fun 🙂

**P.S. Just in case you like movies as I do and are looking for something to do after you come in from outside, “A River Runs Through It” is one of my all-time favourites. Check it out if you haven’t seen it. Brad Pitt before he was Brad Pitt is an extra bonus too.


Doug Dougherty

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