The Hill

It was nearly dark, the turf so soft, and the mud extra slick, as the land dropped steeply beside the path. Incessant winds howled, as I squinted to avoid debris and droplets and focused extra attention to my inhale as cool gusts collided with my nose. My cheek muscles tightened as my skin chilled. No true scent came to mind, but the air of true freshness was evident.

This was the weather of Boxing Day in Norley. Boxing Day, being the holiday that takes place on the day after Christmas, celebrated in commonwealth nations. Norley, being a quaint small village in the northwest of England. My husband’s hometown.

I stood, with feet planted firmly on my perch so as not to lose my balance with the weighty gales. Below, the dark, dense treetops of Delamere Forest hugged by villages and meres. Green hues muted; moody clouds above like streaked like in watercolor.

A thought crossed my mind: This… is life. Life at its fullest.


Standing atop the hill towering over the ancient glacial planes, there I was. Using all my God-given senses, experiencing elements that remind one the powers of nature, and the blessings of what it means to be alive and feeling it all.

If you know me, you may know I’m not generally a fan of the cold. And though my desert-based childhood allows me more appreciation of rain than the average person, icy unfailing mist and drizzle is not a thing I seek.

Yet this moment on the hill was one of many in the library of my life where every element fueled me, energized, gave me immense pleasure. Where I noticed every breath, every feeling.

Times like these remind me of my deep gratitude. In the blessing of being on this earth, with such power of the elements. If I only knew mild climates and sunny skies, I’d overlook the power of feeling the warmth or noticing the lack of mighty winds. It’s these opposites that matter.

That’s the same for anything in life. We all have a setting in the human mind that dislikes change. That likes what’s comfortable, and a voice that’s okay with autopilot. Whether we seek it out or note, change happens. Every second. Some that appears good, some that appears awful. What matters is that we carry on. Embrace change. Welcome the uncharted adventures planned for our lives when they knock on the doorstep, and also leave our front yard seeking to meet other adventures on our own initiative.

Accepting and embracing everything you feel. That is a pillar of how to enjoy life. And feeling the weather, in all its turbulent and mild states, marks a magical reminder of how blessed we are to be able to sense and to feel (in ups and downs, turbulence and calm). It enlivens us down to our core.

stormy sky


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