Just Get Outside

December 1, 2010

From the time we were courting…my husband David (oldest of 8 children and father of two prior to our daughters) used to say to me…if you are afraid, just go outside. I thought, are you NUTS, the bad guys are outside and I am staying safe and sound inside. His argument was that there was probably nothing outside and once I faced my fear, the fear would go away and I could get on with what I was doing minus the fear. On more than about a hundred occasions I tested his theory and he was right. Facing my fears was definitely the better alternative to hiding under the bed with a racing heart and wild imagination.

Then we had babies…and once again he used to say to me that if the babies were inconsolable, get them outside. He was a believer in fresh air, still nights, stars, the universe as healer. He was a believer before believing in the power of the universe was chic. I would wrap my screaming babies up and we would head outside…regardless of the weather or time of day. We would walk, and walk and walk some more. They snuggled in front backs, in back packs and usually before I was out of the driveway they seemed to know that a sense of calm enveloped them and all was about to be better.

I am now the mother of two magnificent adult daughters, both leading their  own successful and complicated lives. We had the unmistakable honor of spending a day in Trout Lakes first snow fall. There were snow shoes, and cross country skis, friends and dogs and back packs clanking with beer and chocolate bars, cheese and apples. I am always bringing up the rear because I care more about where I am in the moment then where I am going…I was pondering the majestic snow covered trees in front of me, when I saw my beloved girls up ahead of me on the trail. The image of them rendered me breathless. “Just get outside”, they grew up hearing their daddy say, “Go outside and experience peace and beauty and a sense of yourself you just can’t while you are indoors and contained. There they were…my beauties…my babies…my adult women friends and side-kicks, totally at peace and celebrating the great outdoors. I am fairly certain that when they have their own fears to face, or inconsolable babies, their daddy’s voice will ring in their heads as well…

“Just Get Outside”

5 Responses to “Just Get Outside”

  1. Beautifully perfect. I so needed this today – thank you and your husband…I’m going outside…x

  2. Gayle M Clifford Says:

    Exactly what my Dad and Mom used to say to myself and my brothers and sisters. We were nine children so you can bet the phrase was used many times, LOL. I also used to tell my daughters the exact same thing, “Get out and breathe!”Everyone and everything takes on a different perspective afterwards.

  3. Oh….Kristine. I love this. I used to hike every day in the gorgeous mountains behind my house, EVERY DAY for 11 years. And then the dangerous neighbors and the pitbulls came, and the attacks. Now I run on a treadmill.

    I want to overcome my fear and get back outside. I need it!
    My soul needs it. May ass needs it.

  4. Anna Says:

    This is so dead-on.
    I love seeing those wonderful young women of yours. Time flies…..

  5. svr Says:

    thanks for telling this story momma. it is always good to be reminded that no matter what happens it usually feels better to face it head on. you and dad did a tremendous job of instilling confidence and courage in us and i can only hope that when I am lucky enough to strap my own front pack on and head outside that my little baby will feel the same freedom that we did.


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