Falling into Winter

The fall caught me off guard. How about you?

The first time I really became aware of the seasonal shift was a few days ago when I noticed an familiar bird singing: a chickadee. I realized that I’d actually not heard a chickadee since I moved to Malden. Sketch of a black capped chickadeeSo I unfurled my Merlin Bird ID app, wondering who else was in town, and discovered that many of the birds I was listening to were quite different than the ones I’d heard last spring. House sparrows were still there, and Northern Cardinals and American Robins (English ones are different, y’all!) but now joined to the chorus were Blue Jays, Tufted Titmouse, Chipping Sparrows, White-breasted Nuthatch. Gone were Catbirds and Baltimore Orioles.

My neighbor and I chatted yesterday, as I went by on my morning walk with Boodie. He asked if I still walked three times a day in the middle of winter. I told him, yes, that’s why I had winter clothes, and we shared a laugh. But it made me think: how often do we give up moving because of bad weather? Stop going outside, and stay in controlled environments? Daily movement, whether you call it “exercise” or walking your dog or gardening, is essential for our health, in all senses. Winter, when flu begins to circulate, is exactly when we need to take even better care of our health, and yet that’s when many of us move less.

Movement is necessary, yet not sufficient. My neighbor walks regularly on the high school track. He’s rarely challenged by uneven pavement.

Yesterday on my walk, I tripped on the pavement and fell. No big deal: I fell well, got up and kept walking.

None of us can live forever in controlled environments. Electricity can fail. Shoelaces come untied and we trip over those. A tornado touches down (yes, even in Massachusetts). Pandemics arise.

Are you prepared for changing seasons? The changing seasons of your life, as well as of the earth?

How are you cultivating resiliency, and, better, anti-fragility? So that, whatever happens, you’re able not only to take care of yourself, but also others around you?

Today I’m sipping the first ginger tea of the season. Like to join me? Here’s my recipe, in another of my autumnal musings. (Scroll down to the bottom of the blog, and, if you like, send Finn Finn fond thoughts as you go.)