I’ve heard those of us living in the north are hardier.
I don’t know if we’re hard-i-er, but we are certainly hardy. This morning, in a blizzard with six feet of snow lining our roads, I saw a lone mountain biker flying down my street having come from the Portland Trails path which leads to the Presumpscot River. The tires on his bike were fat and his face, masked. Hardy.
I don’t know if I’ll live in Maine my entire life, but I am eternally grateful that I grew up here and have spent the majority of my life surrounded by its splendor.
I see the ocean each morning on my 5-mile commute to the office. I’m within a drive of ski mountains, wooded hiking trails, meadows filled with wild flowers, lakes, rivers, and the rocky coastline.
I’ve seen the sun rise over a pristine lake while “away at a camp in Maine.” I’ve seen more sunsets over the ocean’s horizon than I can count.
I’ve seen what looks like “the North Pole” while snow shoeing across the acres of land beneath Mount Washington, sat huddled under a mink blanket on a sleigh ride under the stars, and watched dogs pull sleds across the frozen tundra of Bretton Woods, New Hampshire.
I’ve ice skated, kayaked, canoed, water skied, biked, run, meandered, Nordic and Alpine skied. I have swum in the cold ocean, in the lake, in the dark, and even in the winter – (heated pool for that one).
My body has a natural rhythm to the seasons’ cycle – I awake in the spring, I play in summer, I appreciate and begin to pull inward in fall, and I hibernate in winter. I breathe fresh crisp air, I drink pure water, I use all five senses to absorb all the nature and wonder around me in the north. I feel on my face the icy cold, the wind, the heat, and the sunlight.
I will forever feel blessed to have been born here…and to have learned to throw myself into it deeply and passionately, to make the most of all I’ve been given. The nature of where I live has filled me up and benefitted both my immune system (hardy) and my psyche.