There is nothing better than getting out of the city and into the country air. Today’s Sylvia quote, once more from The Bell Jar, reminds me of the little things that help so much.
I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery – air, mountains, trees, people. I thought ‘This is what it feels to be alive’.
I’ve lived in the city all of my life. Perhaps the people part of the quote could be knocked out, because sometimes, the air, mountains, trees, etc, is enough. I come from a small village in the country, but I couldn’t wait to get out to the big city, and then an even bigger city, and really live my life.
But really, I have felt most alive in life when wandering up a hill with my husband, camping in the great outdoors, or sitting by a loch in the beautiful country we live in. Scotland is gorgeous, despite the weather. This weekend we’re off to Skye for a few days, to a lovely old cottage for some much needed R&R after a hectic festive season and start to 2016.
We went to Skye in 2006 when we were first together. I was still not quite recovered from depression, and being on the island, in a tent for the first time in years, truly lifted me. I did, indeed, feel alive.
The fresh air was like a drug. When you’re depressed,getting out of bed, never mind out of the house, is a chore. Friends used to tell me that going for a run, or a nice, long, walk would ‘shake me out of it’. I tried to explain that actually getting out of the house to do those things would be an achievement in itself.
But if you can, I sincerely advocate being outside, in open space. I work from home, in a little room with no windows. I love my own little space, and I like being indoors, but when I feel stressed, or I need some time out, just stepping over the door, and breathing in the air is enough. Even in the city.
So, when I get to escape to the country, like this weekend, I will be breathing it in like a drug, addicted to its brilliantly healing qualities – even if it is pouring rain, and blowing a gale!