i paint i write

Live boldly, laugh and make art

An early morning walk to remember to breathe

This morning Annie and I went for a walk. We watched the sun come up. Somehow, I forgot how to breathe.

stencil (3)

The slow kind of breathing, where you are not worried about a deadline. The kind of breathing where you have time to walk your dog and watch the sun come up. We left the house at 5:30, the birds woke us up. Annie laying beside my bed waiting for me to put on my shoes.

“And she tried to breathe.”
― Alison McGhee, All Rivers Flow To The Sea

Today, this morning I tried to breathe. Slowly. One foot in front of the other. Touching the tree bark, petting the dog, smelling the flowers.

The past few days. Weeks? Months? I have felt anxious. My glass empty. Staring at the ground and not at the sky. Forgetting joy even as I washed my dishes with Joy soap.

In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.
— Psalm 5:3

Have you forgotten how to breathe?

Today, look at the sky. And breathe.


As always I love to hear from you. Click here to comment. HERE

About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

Feature Box

Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • jane williams

    I love reading your language. It speaks Heart. It’s both refreshing and inspiring … and helps me take deep breaths. Sharing this “just because” it feels familiar, and maybe can speak back to you in that reciprical “take-a-deep-breath” kinda way. http://wp.me/p2GkY8-qb

    • Hello jane williams,
      Thank you for sharing your writing. Your words spoke Heart and brought me joy.

  • I had to look to find some Joy dish washing soap. I bought some just because of your post. I like the way it smells and seeing joy when I walk in the kitchen.

    Maybe life is like that. We have to go look for joy sometimes.

    Thanks for your reminder to breathe.

    • Hello Eva,
      I like the thought of you seeing joy in your kitchen. Annie and I just got back from an early morning walk, we were looking for joy.
      All my best,

  • Danie Botha

    ” …I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly…”
    And this is how our souls breathe.
    Thank you for the sharing and the reminder, Pamela.
    Eugene Peterson puts it like this in The Message: (Lament 3: 20-23)
    ” …but there’s one thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope:
    God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love could not have dried up. They’re created new every morning …”
    We have to go look for it–and in the process, let our souls breathe …
    Thanks, Pamela!

    • Hello Danie Botha,
      So nice to hear from you. Thank you for sharing another translation. I have to remember the, “new every morning” part of it.
      When one day is sad, the next day doesn’t have to be.

  • Susan W A

    dearest pamela,

    thank you for your honest sharing. A dear friend recently sent me a note stating that I am the most genuine person she knows. I actually felt the sensation of a jolt when I read those words, so moved was I by her sentiment. I am sending those words to you now. Thank you for your genuineness. Such a beautiful role model you are.

    I’m glad you enjoyed an invigorating early morning walk with Annie and that it gave you some time to breathe, raise your eyes, and reflect.

    On Sunday mornings while my husband rejuvenates by playing 90 minutes of soccer with a group of guys, I go for a walk. I don’t have a sitting meditation practice yet, but I do listen to meditations while I go for these Sunday morning walks. What’s interesting is that when I walk and meditate, my gaze naturally rises, without conscious effort … chin up, eyes often to the sky, inviting a feeling of openness.

    I think you “know” me well enough by now to know that my first reaction in response to the big and small of life is to write what I call ‘raw poetry’. So I’m including here some thoughts you inspired. And with your and EmFairley’s lead, I am including a photo. This is from the Puget Sound in Washington, where my dear friend I mentioned lives.

    breathe … deeply
    i n …. h a l e
    deeply until just one more bit fits, then fill it
    e x … h a l e
    i n … h a l e
    e x … h a l e

    raise your eyes
    to the top of the blade of grass
    to the dew drop atop
    to the soft fluffy fur of Annie’s chest
    to her loving, kind eyes … and linger there a moment
    raise your eyes
    to the road’s gateway at the foot of the trees
    to the cluster of leaves breathing out so we can breathe in …deeply
    raise your eyes
    to the horizon that blends the colors of our nighttime with the colors of daylight which have traveled from the other side of the world to swirl together
    raise your eyes
    to the limitlessness of the sky

    there’s a reason that “breathing in” = “inspire”

    /admire … aspire … reach higher/
    [swa] © a colored envelope 20 may 2016 /raw poetry from the ellipsis poetry division/

    • Susan W A

      ooops …now we can add “tilt your head” to the wisdom of “raise your eyes” heehee

      • EmFairley

        Both your words and pic are beautiful, Susan. I sometimes write while out on such trips, but last week I just wanted to “be.” That said, thanks to a photographic memory I can be back in the moment quite easily and may well write something, other than related blog posts, soon

    • Hello Susan,
      Just reading your poem relaxes me. Reminds me to breathe. How special to have a friend who understands you. Thank you for sharing your poem and the photograph.
      I hope today is filled with joy and sunshine.

  • Beautifully written, Pamela. I think we all have times of shallow breathing. It takes a sunrise, a dogs wagging tail and fresh air to awaken our creative spirit anew. My best to you!

    • Hi John Patrick Weiss,
      Thank you for your kind words. I hope your day is full of sunshine, dogs and fresh air too. Hope your floors are in soon.
      My best to you and your family.

  • EmFairley

    I felt exactly the same last weekend, so took a trip to a nature reserve and beach a couple hours away. Even then I’m not usually one to sit still for long, but then I lay down on a rarely remembered towel and felt the sun on my face for about an hour. Here’s a pic from the day

    • EmFairley

      Here it is

      • Susan W A

        This is beautiful ! Good for you for making that trip! And imagine … an hour of stillness and being. I love how you say, “…then I lay down on a rarely remembered towel and felt the sun…”

        • EmFairley

          Thanks Susan! A pine forest nature reserve leads to the dunes at the edge of the beach. As you can see from this low angled shot, taken while laying down, the water’s edge was about a half mile out. I walked out to the shoreline before settling and had already walked over 3 miles by the time it was taken. Total of over 9 on the day but it was beautifully refreshing

          • Susan W A

            I enjoyed reading the additional details. : )
            Thanks, too, for your kind comments on my post.

    • Hi Em,
      What a great idea. Your day sounds peaceful and relaxing. Thank you for sharing a photograph.
      Are you feeling better today?

      • EmFairley

        Yes. Thank you, Pamela. I hope you are too?

  • La McCoy

    Breathing is critical for continuning to live.
    Annie is looking really pretty.

    • Hello La,
      Breathing is critical. Can’t go for very long without taking a breath.
      I will tell Annie you said hello.

      • La McCoy

        Thank you.
        Sometimes i forget to breathe too.

  • Berdeane Bodley

    Now this is funny, I get your email you had walked 2 miles with “Annie”, I’m thinking how nice you went for a walk with your neighbor, then, I read your story & realize one should never surmise anything. love u.

    • Hi Mom,
      I love you too.
      Yes, Annie is our dog. She is good company on a walk.
      Pamela, your daughter

  • Robn Patrick

    l o v e

    • Hi Robn,
      My gift for you today is the letter “i”. l o v e to you too, Robin.

      • Susan W A

        You have such a way with letters, Pamela!

  • felicia_d

    Love the wisdom of this post! Good to see you again. ☺

    • Hello felicia_d,
      I hope today you find joy too. Thank you for your kind comment. So happy to see you too. 🙂

  • Melody Potter

    Hi Pamela, I wondered why we hadn’t heard from you in a while. Sounds like you haven’t been feeling well. Glad you are back now. Your morning blurbs always make me feel better.

    • Hi Melody,
      Thank you for your kind words and thoughtful comment. I have missed writing every day. Thank you for the word, “glad.” A nice word for a day with a walk with a dog.