Words and Images by Gina Yu

We move with the seasons, don’t we? And it is this time of year we find ourselves particularly rushed along, even despite attempts to heed the call to slow. Multi-medium storyteller, Gina Yu, shares some images and words this week, to offer a chance to pause, a respite—if only for a moment glancing at a screen. Peace, friends. 

Sometimes, it’s suffocating.

The to-do lists, the need-to-do lists, the books you bought but never read, the places you dream of but can’t afford to go, the people you need to see, the things you want to eat, the things you should eat.

So what’s a person to do? Take a walk. Go around the block, or scale a mountain. Pace the cul de sacs of a place or hug the curves of a mountain. Because when you do, when you’re outside and the sky can’t help but reach infinitely from every angle and the leaves can’t help but flutter with each passing movement, you step back. You’re moved, from peering close into your life with a microscope to zooming out and taking perspective.

As humans, you move in groups, in waves. You constantly interact and express, and it’s exhausting, exhaustive. You’re wild, trying to make a difference, trying to be understood. Trying, trying. But in silence, isolation, emptiness, you’re filled. You can feel the fullness of you. Find a moment, a field, a path, a mountain, and get away, go off-road, embrace the off-season.

Because when outside, when in nature, you take in the trees that started as tiny seeds and grow 100,000 times in size, despite time and temperature. They do not fear growth or force it but welcome it like a surprise. Like an expected occurrence that remains magical, even amidst a forest.

You take in the mountains that house lakes and storms in their peaks but trickle down for miles to form bodies of water so calm that small creatures take refuge in them. You take in the silence, so vast and astounding. Each rustling wind and rolling pebble are like earthquakes of fascination to your ears. You take in the beauty around you, so unmolded and uninformed, so innocent and grand.

You feel small yet significant. You take up space, and all of you, with your anxieties and quirks and delights, are real and true. You remember that living is a verb, an action. You choose to breathe.

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