Just Breathe

McKenzie Relaxing and FishingAhhh, it’s finally here! The summer we have all been waiting for. It’s funny how anticipation makes everything that much better. Winter is gone, spring is, well, almost a distant memory, and summer, yes, summer is here! Bring on the farmer’s markets, festivals, live bands at the park, breakfast on the farm, parades, and lazy days at the beach.

This past weekend, my family already enjoyed one of the first special treats of summer, partaking in the free fishing weekend out at Kimberly Point in Neenah. Now, for those of you who know my husband, he is quick to point out that he is NOT a fisherman! In fact, it took way more than twisting his arm to get him to gamely accompany the family to the store as we excitedly purchased our first tackle box, bobbers, sinkers, and hooks. He even helped attach all these unfamiliar gadgets to the Cars and Princess fishing rods the kids discovered in their Easter basket this spring.

After getting all of our gear together, and casting my first cast in twenty years into the lake, I began to wonder how I, as one of the most impatient people on the planet, ever got into fishing as a kid off the dock at my parents’ lake property. At first, I thought, I had to have been bored, as there is little to do in the early morning hours at the lake in summer, with my siblings out of town or at work and my friends and seemingly everyone else at the lake sleeping in. The lake appeared completely still, with what looked like a layer of calm glass over the top, interrupted rarely by small circles coming up here and there from a lazy fish. I remembered sitting quietly and listening to all of the sounds of nature that surrounded me- the birds singing, frogs croaking, turtles hooting, and the occasional fish jumping. I would sit there for hours, all by myself at the end of the dock, soaking it all in.

Exactly twenty years later, as I watched the remnants of an evening summer storm roll across Lake Winnebago, hearing the thunder echo from ledge to ledge, only to give rise to a brilliant rainbow painted across a deep purple-blue sky, I realized why I wanted to be out there fishing with the kids. I had told my husband it was because we had to teach our kids to fish. It’s just one of those things, I said, that you need to teach your children, like riding a bike, or planting a tree. After spending some time fishing again, it was easy to remember why I’d whittle away countless hours in my early teenage years doing something so, well, inactive. I was taking time to breathe. To relax. To take it all in. With all the busyness of life, work, kids activities, and even go-go-go vacations, my family needs to learn to relax, to be quiet, and to take it all in. Just breathe. Not exactly an easy lesson for an overly active toddler boy and a bubbly preschool girl, but even if we caught just a moment of hearing nothing but the powerful rumbling thunder across the lake, it was a start.

Take some time this summer to enjoy all of the thrills of summer, from the bustling activities all around town, to the quiet moments of long evening walks, family bike rides, fishing, gathering around a campfire, and even just sitting on the porch. Cut the music, talking, laughing, and noise, and focus on the sound of absolutely nothing. Then you will hear what you’ve been missing all along, the symphony of nature at its best.

Taking it all in,
Jill Murphy
Owner/Physical Therapist
MotionWorks Physical Therapy