A heavy rain pulsed through Charleston this past week. Powerful winds ripped through the area from seemingly all directions, drenching everything in its path.
As a result, this surge of water left our entire screened-in back porch saturated, including our 5’x 7’area rug under our small, white table. The rug is not the indoor-outdoor kind that dries quickly and resists mold and mildew (though that purchase is coming soon). Ours is a thicker rug, with firm backing, and it does not dry quickly. We used a wet-dry vacuum to sift as much water from it as we could, and then left it to air dry, and in Charleston’s humidity, this took a few days. There would be no time on the porch for a while.
During this time of absence from the porch, I noticed how much I missed it. I missed being outdoors. I missed the feeling of fresh air against my skin. I missed the beauty of the woods behind us. I felt confined, unconnected to not only nature but to myself. I longed for the deep sense of fulfillment that being in nature brings me. Yes, I really missed our porch.
This is not the first time I realized how important nature is to me and my well-being. This is a piece of self-knowledge I’ve had for many years. In fact, my need—and Rick’s– to be in nature is the primary reason we chose this location. We wanted a place where we could connect to the gifts of nature and this seemed like a very good place.
I’m not alone in my love—and need –of the outdoors. In my professional work, I asked patients what brought them a sense of meaning and hope. The answers I received most were music and nature (not necessarily in that order). These dual loves seem universal.
Now that the rug (and the porch) has dried, I’m back out there again. One of my favorite times of the day is to sit on the porch in the early morning, with no particular activity other than simply be. It’s good to be back.