January is one of my favorite months. It’s cold and quiet, especially after the busy schedules that inevitably strike during the holiday season.
January is a time for renewal and reflection. While resolutions capture our attention at the beginning of the month, the subdued days of indoor activity provide opportunities to make subtle, more meaningful changes in daily life.
For me, January is when I dust off the bike and start riding again. While the rest of the country digs out from recent snowstorms, our warmer January weather provides ideal conditions to hit the country roads and start training for longer spring rides.
Initially my body is not happy, but the beauty of the countryside takes its hold on me, particularly the trees. For some reason the bare, dormant trees capture my attention more than any other time of the year. Year after year, pictures of these trees fill my camera. Winter is the best time to see how a single trunk divides into sections until it completely fills the upper canopy of the tree, supporting full and vibrant foliage in the spring and summer months.
Beyond their beauty, the Speech Language Pathologist in me gets lost studying the various trees branches I pass, each with their own unique bends and turns in their reduplicating bifurcating branches. As I ride along, I often find myself comparing these patterns to the images of the arteries and blood vessels of the brain. Arterial images featuring contrasting, dark pulsating veins on a light background come to mind. Do you see it?
The brain is an important part of the body to SLPs, for language development, listening, comprehension, problem-solving and beyond. Many people may initially focus on a SLP’s involvement with the mouth, throat, or ears. However the neurological system serves as a basis for communication as we cannot hear, talk, read, and interact with others without it.
As I pedal along, I wonder what feeds these enchanted trees, nourishing years of strength and longevity. What feeds your brain and professional soul? Is it new challenges, opportunities to collaborate with colleges, learning something new, or infusing your creative or analytical side into your daily practice?
Spring is on the horizon, a time of new growth…new collaborations, ideas, creations, and opportunities!