I went for a walk in the desert this morning. I’ve been trying to spend as much time as I can in the mountain park near my home. Right now, all the cacti and creosote bushes are in bloom. My walks cross seas of color. I know in few short weeks, maybe even days, it will be back to the dull browns and greens that dominate desert living during the warm summer months. The color is a reminder to enjoy every minute before it is too hot to exist outdoors.
Calorie-wise and cardiovascular-speaking, I should have went for a run. I could burn twice the calories and get my heart rate up to a level acceptable for exercise. But mental health is a component of health. Today, I needed a walk. I wanted to drink coffee, listen to songs for mere enjoyment rather than motivation, and take in the day.
I’ve been painting rocks again. For whatever reason, I’m in a space where I have some free time and don’t know what to do with it. Ok, I do know- I should be cleaning closets or looking at classes or some other worthwhile task. Instead, I’m back to painting rocks. I just need to make something with my hands.
I took the rocks with me to use as anonymous notes of gratitude. My neighbors just cut down some bushes that were blocking the sidewalk and constructed a new fence in their place. It must have been a lot of hard work and it looks really nice. I put one of the painted stones on the fence. I have always enjoyed the landscaping on a house leading to the trail. I put a small colorful pebble on the mailbox. I never see either of these neighbors. Our front yard schedules don’t coincide. Maybe finding the rock will bring a small bit of joy to their morning, the way they brought it to mine.
In the desert, I left a few stones for hikers to find. My boys are huge fans of finding “treasure” along the paths. I only snapped one picture. But the pink on these cacti are dazzling. My eyes drank in the fuchsia hue.
As cliche as it is, the walk reminded me of the gift of today. Tomorrow, that fuchsia color could be dwindling, browning, on its way to disintegration. I can’t do everything I want all the time, but in the moments where I am able, I need to prioritize. Says the things I wish I had. Start new conversations for ones I wish I hadn’t. Give more. Love more. Enjoy more. Be present. There is always time for doing the thing you have to, but precious little for doing the things you need. Take advantage.