Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Natural Self Care

My husband and I have this little cabin off of the Greenbrier river in the southern part of West Virginia. We recently went up there for 4 days. My son goes to a year round school and he was on intersession and we decided to take some family time.

There is a place about an hour from our cabin called Beartown State Park. We have never been but had heard great things about it so finally decided to go this visit.

There are few places on earth that make me wax poetic at their shear natural beauty. Of the places I have been privileged enough to see with my own eyes, Ireland and West Virginia are the two winners hands down. It is so easy for me to see as we drive by miles and miles of green rolling pastures and rocky cliffs why so many Irish immigrants found their way home to West Virginia. They remind me so much of each other. West Virginia lacks that special lushness that comes with the constant dampness that is Ireland, but it is a very close second. It is the only state I have been in that I can easily forget I am in America (a quality that I cannot even give to some foreign places I have visited!). Indeed, to me, she is almost heaven.

I must confess, I am a constant planner. A constant “got to get there”, “what next,” “what’s the plan” sort of girl. Of all the qualities I have, my complete and almost total inability to stay in a moment is the thing that saddens me most. I am always impatient to “get there” and once there impatient to “get home.” Sigh. I feel like I lose some much in the in betweens. So our drive to Beartown was an hour, which typically would have had me calculating the entire time. What time we will get there, how long we will stay, where to go for lunch, how long that will take and then what time that would put us home. However, as we drove, windows down on THE most gorgeous day I have felt on my skin in ages and ages, I resisted. At first, I felt a little uncomfortable and then in a moment, we rounded a bend, and all my eyes could see was this amazing vista of changing trees, red, yellow and green against a lush green pasture with the most lovely shadows dancing upon it.

From that moment on I relaxed in my skin and soaked up the joy of that rarity, this ability to be present in the moment. I soaked in the kids gasping at mountains and clapping at cows and giggle at “butt” jokes. And this ride was magical. It was like a whole weekend of relaxation wrapped up into one moment. And in that moment I felt a joy I forgot my soul could possess. I could feel those tattered nerve ends heal. I could feel a deeper breath and I could feel my shoulders relax. And I took it all in. Sigh.

So once we go to Beartown I was completely immersed in the joy of just being. And what unfolded for me, was something, typically, I would have said, “was pretty.” However, that day I could really see it all, and not rush through to get to home. And what I saw dropped my jaw. It was amazing. Tristan found himself occupied looking for fairy holes and Joel and I just walked about almost in a daze of the beauty of it. When we were done we just sat about not wanting to leave just choosing to soak in one more minute or two. It was magical.

The rest of the day was driving and lunch and playing in a creek behind the little Mennonite shop. All lovely, loveliness. By the end of the day I felt like I had gone for a hour and a half massage on a rainy day and came home to nap. I felt drunk from it. And what a lovely buzz it was. Sigh.

So where on this earth do you relax and are able to be in the moment? How long has it been since you were there? Can you challenge yourself more to stay present?

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