I believe that relief from life’s problems can be found, if only temporarily, by sitting outside during the first few days of spring. I can’t help but to feel sorry for individuals who need to dull their senses to escape. I believe that in order to truly find refuge, you need only to step outside and expose yourself to be instantly transported.
Several days ago, I took a break from a chaotic and draining week to lie in my hammock in the afternoon sunshine. The original intent was to sleep; essentially to elude reality for a few brief moments before delving right back into the thick of it all. What actually happened, though, was a much better remedy.
As I closed my eyes, my ears caught the melodic sound of children shouting with laughter. The laughter itself and the exuberance it conveyed was more intoxicating than any substance known to man. As if in a perfectly orchestrated opus, I heard the harmonious tones of birds chirping, lawnmowers humming, and yes…there it was – the clink of metal as someone sat in the driveway working on their car. The birds are home from their winter retreat, grass is growing and neighbors are venturing outside on the weekends. “Yes,” my ears are saying, “spring is here!”
Almost as if nature itself was attempting to soothe me to sleep, I was gently rocked back and forth by a breeze that was stirring the trees. Both at the same time, my body was hugged by the warmth of the sun and fanned by the cooler air. It was the perfect time of day when you are neither too hot nor too cold, rather, absolutely content in knowing that there are some utopian moments in life. For a moment, I almost succumbed to that urge to sleep that had caused me to venture.
Instead, I took a deep breath and the pleasing scent of fresh grass and grilled hamburgers flooded my body. The thought of sleep was edged from my mind, and I suddenly had a heady sense of excitement. It would only be a few more weeks before I would be enjoying camping trips, visits to the beach and walks to the local ice cream shop. If I tried hard enough, I thought for sure I could taste chocolate peanut-butter ice cream in a fresh waffle cone!
I think I ended up stretching my originally planned thirty minute break into two hours. I found that I felt almost paralyzed; unable to force myself back indoors. Eventually, though, I realized that I had things to do and there would indeed be many more days of resting in the hammock to come. As I traipsed through the backyard, I was filled with a sense of amazement at how rejuvenated I felt. Yes, I do believe that in those moments when we make ourselves fully aware of what surrounds us, we find the antitoxin to the cares we face.
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