By Judy Berman
It was a day like any other on my long commute to work. Suddenly, I realized I must have passed my exit because the scenery was unfamiliar.
“Funny, I don’t remember seeing ice flows and polar caps in Florida before.”
That’s when I knew I had to dial it back, slow down and just breathe.
Our brains can go on automatic pilot. As we mentally sort thru the day’s to-do list, and yesterday’s drama, the gray matter steps in and announces: “Here. I’ve got this.”
Then, the brain efficiently handles the mundane while you continue to juggle the heavy-lifting issues.
There might be times when you question if it’s gone on vacation. Like the time I felt particularly stressed at work, and my brain went into the vegematic mode.
I was headed to the Utica Police Department to pick up reports for our newspaper.
Just as I parked the car, I thought I saw someone I knew and ran over to say “hi.” It wasn’t who I thought it was, and I continued walking to the police department about a block away.
As I’m ready to leave, I began to check my pockets. Empty. Where’s my car key?
I enlist the help of an officer there, and we retrace my steps. No luck.
Maybe, I dropped it on the way into the station. I search the streets frantically as I run back to my car. Still no key.
Finally, I round the corner. There’s my car. The key is in the ignition. The car is running. The door is unlocked.
I’d been gone about 20 minutes. I was lucky the car wasn’t stolen.
When I returned to work, a co-worker gently suggested that my brain was fried. I suspect he was right.
I no sooner, jokingly, told my boss that I wanted someone to escort me home, wrap me in a blanket, and give me a soothing cup of tea … when I got a call.
Documents revealing how and why the feds investigated a company I was reporting on had been filed in federal court in Syracuse. That was 50 miles away, but only a few miles from my home.
A saner person would have taken the rest of the day off. I didn’t.
For me, I was able to file my story from home and, then, finally, thankfully, unwind. I sat on our back porch on a deck chair and let nature wrap me in a warm, loving embrace.
Now, when I feel stretched to the max, I look for ways to tap into that same calming spot. It can be in a library, an art museum or just some alone time at home.
It can be found on a deck chair in a nature center near a quiet brook.
That’s where my mental journey takes me. I envision myself alone on a canoe trip into the wilderness with the sound of the loons (water birds) in the background before drifting off to a blissful, welcoming sleep.
Where do you go to get away from it all, to just turn down the volume?
COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Judy Berman and earthrider, 2011-14. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to (Judy Berman) and (earthrider, earth-rider.com, or earthriderdotcom) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
Video: Loons – Sounds of Nature for Relaxation – nearly 24 minutes long. Sit back, relax and unwind. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPkCnMso5rE
Main Photo: Loon Lake, Washington – sunset – Atmospheric conditions created by forest fire about 1 mile from location photo was taken August 2, 2004 by Nomeato http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/57/Loon-lake-WA_-sunset.jpg/640px-Loon-lake-WA_-sunset.jpg
Photo: Loon – A Great Northern Loon (also known as Great Northern Diver or Common Loon ) swimming on Paudash Lake, Haliburton County, Ontario, Canada. Taken 2007.This work has been released into the public domain by its author,Lake Central at the wikipedia project http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b0/Gavia_immer_-Paudash_Lake%2C_Haliburton_County%2C_Ontario%2C_Canada_-swimming-8.jpg
Photo: Watkins Glen State Park, Watkins Glen, New York – taken August 5, 2012 by Jyothiprakash007 http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/77/Beauty_at_Watkins_Glen.JPG/640px-Beauty_at_Watkins_Glen.JPG