It was exquisite and exactly what I needed. We all need to get away once in a while: Away from the hustle and bustle, the commute, the office, the job, the work, the race, and just take time to relax. Our retreat was in a beach house and it couldn’t be more perfect.
We spent our days, talking, joking, singing together, dining, exploring, enjoying nature and even fitting in time for a steam and a massage at a spa. Overall it was a great experience and I highly recommend everyone do it at least once a year.
Getting out and spending time in nature with no internet, wifi, computer access or coverage bars or signal on my smart phone is critical for me. In order to maintain my physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health, I need to spend time out in nature, away from technology. There is no better place to do this than high up in the mountains, out in the woods, surround by rushing rivers, quiet and purity.
This is what I am doing this weekend, an escape from crowding. I am at high elevation in a pine forest, surrounded by serenity, open sky, clear air, wild animals, no traffic or computers or offices and plenty of peace and quiet. I am far from the daily commute and hustle of the daily grind. This is my paradise and as long as I can come here frequently, I can maintain my personal balance and remain healthy and inspired.
What if bald eagles could text? I often wonder what animals say to each other, how they communicate and what means are available to them. These days we have so many ways as humans of communicating, from text, chat, twitter, snapchat, facebook and even the old fashioned phone call. But are our ways of communication as effective as eagles? Are the ways eagles talk to each other more rich and enlightening than humans?
I have found now that I have a teenager that texting has actually improved my communication with my son. Without text, I would have to try to call my son all the time and hope he answered and he would have to do the same with me. If not I would have to leave a message and wonder and worry while I wait for him to call back. But now, I can immediately find out where he is, who he is with and that he is ok, in seconds, just by texting with him. Texting has improved our already great communication and I find between my son and I, we soar with the eagles when we text each other.
So many people spend their life looking down into their smart phones instead of looking out at nature or up at the sky. Nature teaches us what is important. Look at the animals and see how their focus is on their families, gathering food for them, building shelter for them. Animals have their priorities in order, but sometimes we humans don’t.
Look at the seals playing in the ocean. They are together, always, and having fun, enjoying nature and all that it provides. We need to learn from this and remember to take time out just to have fun, enjoy some recreation, never losing that childlike side of our existence.
Finally, we see the waves and wakes that are cut into the ocean by boats that look like wounds that leave scars. But in time, these are covered up, healed and all but disappear. This is nature’s way of teaching us to forgive, forget, not hold grudges, move on, because life is short. Thank goodness nature teaches us and reminds us what is important.
I decided it was time for me to be alone with myself and search my soul. I went into the desert of Arizona and looked deep within myself. I found the time I spent there enlightening. I had never noticed before how many incredible flowers grow in such a dry, hot place.
I also learned a great deal about myself and gained more patience and grace in my life. I remembered what was important in life and to always pay attention to the details. Always look up at the sky, the mountains, the sunset and sunrise, around at the flowers and all life and soak up every moment on this wonderful planet.
Remember to give thanks every day. Every day I try to remember to give thanks for at least one thing: My family, my job, nature, travel, being able to play music, being a referee of multiple sports at a Professional level, health, my house, my yard, anything I can think of.
I believe we all have at least one thing to be thankful for every day. And all we have to do is stop complaining for one minute, stop feeling sorry for ourselves, think of all the others we know who have suffered much worse than us, and we can be thankful each day.
As a lover of quests, travel, discovery, scavenger hunts, exploring and relic hunting, I find many things that are not on travel brochures and are off the tourist’s routes. This most recent trip to Oregon, I discovered a medieval cathedral that has been built into a restaurant and decorated inside most exquisitely. There are large stone towers, in which medieval nooks with benches and table have been set up. There are floor to ceiling tapestries and coats of arms, as well as knights standing guard in full armor. This is truly a place everyone should visit. It is called John Barleycorns, the name reflecting both nature and magic, which this establishment embodies.