I keep a well-being journal these days. It’s like a super deluxe version of a gratitude journal. Each day gets its own page, and each day I record things I’m grateful for, moments I savor, beauty I appreciate, stuff I laugh at.
In this well-being journal, I also record the weather. My brother told me he keeps a journal, and he always records the weather in it. I like that. The weather has a definite impact on my mood and my well-being. When I intentionally note the weather, I can make adjustments to my day to account for it. Sunny and fair? I’ll plan to eat lunch on the back deck, work from the garden in the afternoon, or go for a run or walk outside. Rainy with no sunshine? I’m going to need to compensate so I don’t fall into a gloom.
Typically, the first thing I do in my morning routine after I exercise is detach my phone from the charger and check the NOAA weather page. I listened to an interview yesterday with novelist Rumaan Alam, whose most recent book includes a massive power and Internet outage. He said something in the interview that stood out to me, something about how our phones and devices are so much an extension of us now, we can be scrolling Twitter, remember we need to check our email, and start looking around for our phone, not even realizing the phone is in our hands and we’re looking right at it.
This morning, after my workout, I was tempted to follow my normal routine: check the weather on my phone, then record it in my journal. Instead, I decided to feel the weather with my own body, my own skin.
I stepped onto the front steps in socked feet. I was surprised by the temperature. Yesterday morning was cold, about 47℉ before the sun rose. But this morning, in the dark before dawn, I felt comfortable in short sleeves and cropped leggings. I stood on the landing and realized, this is what balmy feels like.
I stood under the porch light and looked up at the sky. It was deep black, with one bright star I could see despite the ambient light of the bulb. I heard insects. No cars, no lawn mowers, no air conditioners or heaters. In the dark, I felt a breath of wind on my arms and listened to it rustle the drying leaves of October trees.