Wiseguy and I are planning a trip (escape) from this harsh winter weather to a destination of tropical warmth and subsequent bliss. To make myself appear as an even bigger tourist I decided to go for a mani/pedi. As I parked myself in the leather massage chair, I leaned back and heard wonderful relaxation music in the background. I looked up and saw the tv was on. Oh…it was like a meditation channel. Pictures of butterflies, green fields, snow capped mountains. The plethora of pictures faded in and out with a lovely variety of relaxing themes. There were the awe inspiring waterfalls, the colourful birds, the majestic horses. I noticed a common theme. Basically, if you want to relax, cut yourself off from manmade things and focus on nature.
Growing up in a metropolis…ok the burb of a metropolis, I was accustomed to loud noises. Imagine having your house on an airplane flight path. Every evening when you were just about to fall asleep you would hear the rumbling airplane engines flying overheard. Grrrr…after a couple of weeks it didn’t matter. I had grown accustomed to that particular noise and no longer noticed it. It’s funny how the mind can adjust to strange sounds.
When Wiseguy and I moved into our apartment we were so excited about the beautiful view we had from the balcony. There were no other buildings around us. There was a forest nearby. The main street was far away so we could barely hear the traffic. So peaceful. We were also close to the lake so it was nice being able to see the CN Tower in Toronto. Ahhh..peace and quiet. As we sat on the balcony drinking our wine, I opened my mouth to say, “What a beautiful view” when my words were overridden by the Toot Toot sound of a TRAIN! Holy smokes our building was near train tracks. These tracks were not just for freight trains, but for passenger trains as well. It was a consistent chugga chugga sound in the background. The 2 a.m. freight (a.k.a. “fright”) train was especially invigorating the first few weeks. Again, my mind got accustomed to the sound and I slept soundly through all the comings and goings on those rails.
I had become acclimated to planes and trains. No biggie. Then we moved into our present-day house. Lovely neighbourhood. No planes, no trains, but automobiles did abound and then the one quirky modern-day mode of transportation entered our lives; buses. Yup…hadn’t heard that sound before. There is the whooshing sound it makes when it stops to let passengers on and off. Then there is the gearing up as it leaves. The brakes…now THAT’S a sound that irritated me to no end. Yes, past tense as I have adjusted to that sound as well.
Imagine my surprise when I went up to the cottage. It was quiet. I could hear leaves rustling in the gentle breeze. I could hear the water lapping up on the sandy beach. By evening we were exhausted from breathing in the fresh air. My nose had never smelled anything so unpolluted. As I lay back on my pillow I found I couldn’t sleep. There was that awful noise. It kept me up all night. Crickets. Like, what the hell? There no planes or buses or trains. How could I possibly resign myself to peaceful slumber without the city racket?
The city girl finally learned to relax and breathe and enjoy the new sounds. The crickets dutifully chirped me to sleep for the rest of the week. The birds sang me to wakefulness early every morning. I would sit outside with my morning coffee and listen to the wind blow through the trees. I would hear a far off loon make its morning greeting. By the end of the week I had decompressed. My ears had forgotten the roar of street traffic. My nose had been purged of exhaust fumes and smelly smog. Nature and the natural life was all I wanted to experience.
The week away ended and it was time to return to city life. I do love my modern conveniences …my car to get me everywhere, the stores with all the joys of shopping, and all the spiffy gadgets that make life quick and easy. But that week away reminded me that when the daily grind gets me polluted and worn out, look up to the sky and clouds and the birds and escape momentarily. Nature can nurture.