Until very recently, I was an indoors kind of girl. As the crazy Canadian weather turned from frigid to scorching, I would remain inside, away from potential allergens and *shudder* bugs. I resigned myself to indoor activities, blasting the AC whenever possible and staying where I felt safe and unstung.

This season has been very different. One morning I ventured into the morning sunshine beaming on to my back deck to join my mother for a chat. I felt the wind blowing across my face, lightly stroking my cheeks and reminding me of something comforting. Outside was a foreign concept to me, especially in the context of something comforting. I had always claimed to hate all pursuits of an outdoorsy nature, particularly ones that involved eating outside. Suddenly, I found myself wanting to be outside all the time. Afternoon snacks were enjoyed in an adirondack, gazing out onto the verdent lawn. Dinners were enjoyed under the canopy, al fresco dining at its best.

My newfound adoration for the out-of-doors is not limited to sitting and munching away. I love a stroll through the neighbourhood, dog at the end of her purple leash, on a sunny afternoon. Today I hiked around the woods near my father’s house, climbing out to the edge of a cliff and sitting atop a rock, looking down onto murky waters. I’ve even told my friends that a camping trip could be in the works, risking the oh-so-musty tent and the potential for sleeping-bag-bugs.

I don’t know what has sparked this change in me, but it comes along with many other changes I’m welcoming into my life these days. My appreciation for the beauty that nature provides mirrors my appreciation for all of the smaller things in life that are easy to ignore when rushing through existence on a fast track. So while I don’t know the names of half the plants my mom is planting in the garden and I still fear the sting of a yellow-jacket, I’m not planning on staying inside on a beautiful day. No, I will be outside, SPF-covered, and smiling.

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