flowersLast week my dear longtime friend, Carol, invited me to join her to hike a nearby trail which is part of the Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space. I’d grown up nearby and never even knew it existed. It was a spectacular winter day in California, the air was clear and fresh, and I was outdoors with a good friend. Doesn’t get much better!

My senses felt so much keener. Without the continual sensory overload of urban living in Silicon Valley, I opened up fully to my surroundings. I felt the aliveness of the hillside around me and it energized me. The air was fresh and cool in my lungs, I heard the wind rustling in the trees above, and I saw several varieties of birds flying overhead. I noticed several early season wildflowers—bright purple blossoms and delicate yellow flowers were tucked in the greenery along side the path we walked.  Plus, being able to spend several hours with a good friend during a time when our lives often are so full of the busy-ness–was a real gift. I was reminded of several important things that day I thought I’d pass along.

….There are treasures in our own backyards. Find them.

….Exploring new places will awaken your senses and your sense of being.

…..Walking outdoors on a trail is a great, easy and fun way to get in exercise and fitness.

…..Sharing experiences are what weave friendships together through the years. Also,  an easy, non-rushed conversation over several hours makes me truly appreciate special those people in our lives.