It is just a typical, gloomy, early spring day in Belarus in the mid 90’s. The day is overcast with piles of dirty snow on the street that are still melting, keeping the roads and sidewalks wet and dirty. It is damp and cold–the kind of damp and cold that goes through your clothes all the way to the bones. I am so cold waiting to catch a bus that I decide to walk to the next bus stop to keep warm. I hope that the bus won’t come just as I am walking away from the stop. I pass people who mostly wear black, brown, and many variations of those two. To make things gloomier, I couldn’t see really well.
I’ve had bad vision since I was in second grade. I had to wear glasses which I absolutely hated. I liked to stay active–running, biking, fishing. Wearing glasses was not a cool thing to do especially if I wanted to stay active. Not to mention, I was embarrassed to wear glasses. I know it is a silly thing, but it was very real issue for me back then. I didn’t wear glasses except when at home or in school, when I really had to. So I was growing up not seeing things exactly how they were. My freshman year in college I discovered this wonderful thing called CONTACT LENSES.
I remember that day very clearly when I walked out of the eye doctor’s office. Those were the most beautiful colors of black, brown, and many variations of those two that I had ever seen! I saw everything in great detail. I was so happy. I didn’t even bother waiting for a bus. I just walked home. I must have had a huge smile on my face the whole way home. People probably thought I was crazy or perhaps in love. In fact, I was in love–in love with the world. People. Trees that had no leaves yet. Even the grey sky seemed to have something beautiful about it.
Being out in nature eliminates unnecessary noise in one’s head and recalibrates the brain–it puts values, goals, and priorities in the right order.
Two decades later, I have a wife and two kids and am living on a different continent. I still see things in great detail with the help of contacts–much more comfortable contacts than 20 years ago, I must say. Now its not a problem with my eye sight, but often I catch myself wondering why things and people around me don’t excite me much. The demands of a busy adult life in a world heavily focused on consumerism seems to steal the joy of seeing beauty around me.
Getting outside seems to help me regain joy and excitement for things and people around me. Being out in nature eliminates unnecessary noise in one’s head and recalibrates the brain–it puts values, goals, and priorities in the right order. Getting out there with my kids allows them to see more of their dad being excited about people and things around him. Believe me, they do want and need to see more of their dad like that.
Get out there!