“In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion.” ―Albert Camus
On this morning, I sit at the porch of a hermitage located in a narrow valley next to a small stream running through the sparse bushes. From my viewpoint, the eye and mind are soothed by the musical chirping and cooing of birds, some perched on the swaying branches of the tall trees, blown sideways by the calm local winds. I also hear the bleating of sheep as the flock feeds alongside Friesian cows in a farm on the sloppy grounds across the stream.
I hear the distant whining of horses, the voices of people, probably at a construction site not far off, and the faint sound of a lawn mower, not more than a few hundred meters from me. I sip my morning coffee and sit back on the reclining chair, resting my feet on the low porch rail, and my eyes three-quarters closed as I imbibe the celestial bliss. After what could have been several minutes, perhaps even one hour, I open my eyes, lazily. They feast on the lush green surrounding the hermitage before quickly darting to the right of the garden, just in time to catch a glimpse of the beetle lurking around a beautiful passionflower. I get back to my book as the cool of the morning starts to give way to the warmth of the shining sun.
This is the base from where I have received inspiration and made some life and business decisions since I was first introduced to it many years ago. Behind the double iron gates, visible after two kilometers of a lonely and rugged drive from the main road, are breathtaking views of the beautiful gardens and an awe-inspiring walk through the complete story of Christ, as narrated by the unique collection of giant-size mosaic sculptures. These treasures still take my breath away, even after my countless visits.
On this occasion, as I reconnect with myself, God and nature, it dawns on me how much, over the last couple of months, I have neglected the most-valuable asset I possess: me. I have hurtled through life at a fast and furious pace, rushing to I don’t know where. And now, in a calm and tranquil moment, I am no longer consumed by the thoughts of yesterday and what would have been. Nor am I overly burdened by the here and now and what’s not working as it should. Instead, my sixth sense awakens. Hope gets restored. The inner being starts to regenerate, and I feel renewed. I start to make memories of tomorrow, a better tomorrow. Just as good since I can neither change my yesterday nor buy it back. But the power to model a more beautiful future lies squarely in my hands.
Have you considered that it is possible to forge a more resilient self by taking regular breaks from your stressful situations? It isn’t running away, rather; it’s a way of renewing yourself so that you can spring back more effectively. Give yourself a break.
Copyright ©2014 David Waweru