Flinging off winter in the house and the yard can be exhausting, but it also offers ample opportunity for what I think of as "contemplative activity" — time for your brain to freely roam while the rest of you takes care of monotonous tasks. I once read that in recent years we've lost this type of "mindless" activity that our ancestors enjoyed, well, pretty much all the time, while they tended animals and gardens and homes.
Most everyone I meet on my daily walks is wearing headphones, and I often do that, too. But sometimes it's good to give our frequently overstimulated brains a chance to unwind. No need to learn anything. No need to be motivated by a spunky tune or lulled by low-fi beats. I find ditching the headphones can sometimes produce the most unusual results. Solutions to various difficulties that have stumped me just pop into my head, or I'll finally recognize the obvious answer that's been there all along. Or maybe nothing happens and that's okay, too.
The point is, while your body works, your brain can play. Taking a hike offers the perfect opportunity to give silence a whirl, and in this issue, Samantha Wohlfeil explores the plentiful hiking opportunities in our region (page 10). And top off the day in the kitchen making a perfect springtime meal featuring the Ivory Table Catering Company's chef Kristen Ward's luscious lamb burgers (page 44). So next time you're taking on your day, try some quiet!