A Moment to Breathe

I am just back from a few days in nature. I have breathed clean, cool, fresh air. I have walked fair distances, done significant physical labor, (for the most part) stayed off my electronics. I have sat in grassy shade and had long conversations about really nothing of lasting consequence. I have watched the sun rise over the hills and dapple the leaves of coastal California’s native scrub oak, manzanita and madrone. I explored part of a creek that wound its way down a ravine to reach the mighty Pacific Ocean.

Even in a singularly beautiful natural environment, I still drank too much coffee. I didn’t eat or sleep well (Chaperoning 7th grade boys can do that to a person.).

A change of scenery like this, even a temporary one, can lift the spirits and boost thinking and creativity. There is a reason, after all, that so many retreat centers are located in the woods and so many fewer in center cities. Undistracted by the Internet, television and radio, the latest self-serving whipped-up political shit-storm, I was more relaxed and creative. I did, in fact, think deep thoughts.

On balance, then, it was an undeniably positive experience, although I’m still plenty happy to be back amongst my people.

2 thoughts on “A Moment to Breathe

  1. Glad you had the time for your retreat. Just one observation, the Buddhists speak of the void in which to “retreat”. The void is transportable while we’re alive and you can retreat to it at any time in the country or the city. BTW, the void includes everything — even electronics — it shuts out nothing because it is nothing.

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