I learned something during my summer break: make time to do fun stuff! Stepping away from the computer during the summer has been so good for me. I definitely was heading toward a little burnout. Burnout from work, from blogging and mostly burnout from myself. Much has changed in my office life this year and it has made it a lot busier in my life and most of all in my head. And my head has never been a very quiet place to start with. I am always in awe of the people that can meditate. That can just sit still and be still. I can sit still very good, but I need a book or a tv to grab my attention. I can loose myself in a book quite easily, following along in the chase of a murderer. But be still just with me, myself and I? Not so much. But more and more I have come to realize that I need still in my life, I need quiet, I need nothing.
So I am working hard on adding more of nothing (isn’t that a nice contradiction…)
Stepping away, taking it easy and make sure that life doesn’t pass me by has been a firm resolution for this new year (working in education gives me a ‘new year’s start’ twice a year).
And my Love is so on board…..
I have lined up a few fun trips for us, to take us away from the daily grind and we are working hard at incorporating moments of peace and quiet into our schedule.
Sunday morning is becoming our ‘morning with nature’. Like this morning just a few weeks ago.
I read in the paper that the heather was in full bloom, and realized that I had never seen the fields of heather that are so close to us (just a few towns over). It was one of those things on the bucket list, that I always remembered at the wrong time. In the dead of winter I would think “darn when is that heather blooming, must make sure I don’t miss it this year…” and another year would go by and I would not have seen the purple heather bloom.
But this year I was on top of it. Saturday morning news report said the heather was in full bloom, and Sunday morning we were there….
Camera in hand we went out to explore.
And it was such a wonderful morning.
These fields of heather ( called Brunssummerheide) are a result of industrialization many many years ago. They have now become their own little eco-system, maintained with a little help from men and a lot of help from sheep.
At the end of summer it is a little pink oasis in the midst of an otherwise mostly urban area.
Walking there reinforced the sense that I really need this. To get away from behind the computer, off of the couch, leave the gadgets behind (with exception of my camera) and get my body moving and give my mind some rest.
It is so easy to let my ever growing to-do list rule my world. It is ok that I have it, it is who I am, it’s my driving force and my motor. But every engine needs to cool down from time to time and recharge. In the past I used to wait too long to give myself some peace of quiet and so my body would just force me into a state of nothingness. It could be a killer flue, or an encounter with the blues, but sooner or later my body would make me sit, sleep and do nothing. And it would always be a struggle to wrestle myself free from the inertia.
Taking a moment of nothing that is more active, works out much better. It gives energy and there is nothing to wrestle free from.
I feel that walking like this is a my way of meditating. A kind of active meditation. I stop thinking about the things I still need and want to do. I stop thinking about tomorrows meetings and deadlines and instead I am just hunting for that one detail around me that just needs to be photographed.
Looking for that one toadstool and getting really low to photograph it.
Seeing the play of shadow and sun and the wonderful textures of nature.
Discovering the spider in the flower and seeing the web she is spinning.
Walking around the corner and watching the sheep graze.
If there ever was a more relaxing thing than watching sheep graze I would like to know it. But for me watching these little fur balls do the one thing thing that they do best: eat, washed all the cobwebs straight out of my head.
We walked from woody areas into the fields of heather and back again. And it all was so beautiful. First signs of Fall everywhere, but still enough warmth of the sun to make believe it was still summer.
And then we turned another corner and ended up straight in the middle of the sheep herd (with a few goats too).
They were so not interested in us. They had a job to do: eat. And eat some more.
It made close encounters like this really easy.
Our presence did not faze them one little bit.
But there also was a little – faster than the light – black and white sheep dog. And when he nudged, they ran….
A herd of almost 500 sheep running around us, down the hill, because the dog wanted them too….
Wonderful sight! And when they reached the bottom of that little hill, the dog was called back, the sheep resumed eating and we started walking again.
Through the fields and into the woods.
Looking for an excuse to stand still and breath.
Those excuses were not hard to find…..
I filled my mind with green and fresh air.
I got a mini workout and some quality time with my Love.
And all was right with the world.
Let’s do this again next Sunday, shall we…..