Do you ever feel as if the world is way too busy? Do you ever freeze up, thinking of all the stuff you have to do?

I often do.

This morning, I listened to my wise wisdom, for once.

Outdoors beckoned. The sun was shining, the snow was mostly off the grass, and I knew that I was going to have to get outside, or I would go insane.

So I ditched my schedule for working on the novel this morning. I took my journal in my pocket, with a pen. I don’t journal much, but I thought a poem would come. I walked and walked and walked, up the dirt road, almost to its dead end.

Stress sluffed off my shoulders, taken up by the earth. I began to breathe.

Silly me, silly humans. How many zillions of times to I have to keep learning what is good for me?

I started to breathe.

We don’t live in the most scenic place in the world (by conventional standards — I don’t think you’d find our landscape on a picture-poster calendar), but every rotted fencepost against the blue sky was miraculous. Clear water melting over tiny stones in a drainage ditch made me want to stop and stop and stare. The cool (but not too cool) air felt great against my neck. I thanked the gods for the clean air. I breathed into the alone-ness.

My mind eased. My body grew peaceful.

I sat by our pond after the walk, mesmerized by the well runoff (it sounds like a small fountain). How lucky I am. I wrote a poem. And as I had walked, my mind opened, easily sifting ideas, considering creative possibilities, solving some problems — easily, without the least bit of freaking-out-ed-ness. How wonderful. How easy it is to remember. How easy it is to forget.

What helps you be at peace? What helps us all?