Realization recently struck me like a slap in the face from a wet fish – I’ve been far too serious lately and it has been contributing to a morose malaise. The cure? Cast off all sense of grown-up responsibility for a while and just play.
Reveling in immaturity and freedom as I take a short vacation from the gravity of adulthood – it sure sounds attractive. I want to jump in a puddle to make the biggest splash, climb a tree and look out to the horizon, run around and laugh and play. I want to be Huck Finn and run away on an adventure…
Not that I will end up doing any of that – just dreaming. But the other day I did yield to the urge to get away for a spell – irresponsible perhaps, but necessary to restore some peace of mind. I walked along the river path, enjoying the stillness and solitude. It was enjoyable for a while…
..and then I started to encounter people and it spoiled the mood. Gone was my relaxed sense of ease to be replaced by a stiff uneasiness in the presence of strangers.
I took refuge in a place I feel comfortable but although it turned out to be an enjoyable day I couldn’t get time alone to restore some semblance of calm in my mind.
I’ve been meaning to put this picture up since my birthday last month. It’s the card I got from a couple of good friends. I loved it when I opened the envelope and read the front: “I like having a friend like you. You’re different…”
It might sound silly but I felt really happy – not just accepted but liked for who I was. I think it was the perfect card for me. I don’t usually pay much attention to cards beyond reading who sent them but in this case I made an exception – this one really means something to me and I’m going to hold on to it.
I was in one of my low phases at the time when I got this card and it comforted and cheered me immensely. So a big thank you and lots of love to “B” & “M” who sent me this card – you know who you are…
Every now and again I need a break from things when I’m feeling under pressure and nearing meltdown. My preference is to go for a walk by myself in the countryside: I’m lucky in that regard because I grew up in the midst of farmland and now live in an area that, while not rural, has accessible natural areas.
Moor Green Lakes in the Blackwater valley is one such area. It’s a nature reserve alongside the Blackwater river and I can walk along the riverside and relax watching fish, ducks, swans and, in season, the aerobatic mayflies and dragonflies. While it does attract other people, particularly dog-walkers, there are not too many of them and there are enough bends in the path that I can keep them out of sight and forget that there is anybody else around.
|A swan on the Blackwater river
I took these pictures there last summer. It was a bright, sunny day but the path was shaded by trees and it was very comfortable. I lost all track of time and just kept on walking, not thinking about anything but just experiencing my surroundings. There is something about natural spaces that appeals to me: I loathe most cities with their crowds, noise, dirt and hard edges. Give me hills and valleys, fields and trees any day. Water in particular I find very relaxing. I have spent time in the Scottish Highlands around Lochs Tay and Rannoch and the English Lake District near Coniston Water and in both cases found the landscape a great help in promoting peace of mind.