I've just returned from a two week vacation at a little cabin in the Adirondack mountains. One of my favorite places for many reasons; peace, tranquility, and seclusion not being the least of them. It is a place of great beauty and lends itself to an appreciation of nature that for me, at least, approaches a gentle awe. While the ocean is nice, I am a person of woodlands, valleys, streams, and mountain lakes. Sun-dappled clearings, mossy rocks, and the calls of belligerent crows all unclench my chest, soothe my soul, and bring peace to my spirit.
The cabin has no electricity, and so no television, radio, or electronic white noise to bombard the ear - allowing for a quiet that few of us seldom, if ever, have the chance to experience. Coupled with the location, it is a perfect situation for relaxation and reflection.
There were walks with the dogs, good books, visits to charming shops and galleries, discovery of local farmers markets, and wonderful food at little cafes. I enjoyed the freedom of standing in the sunshine halfway up a mountain and singing out loud knowing no one could hear. I also spent a not inconsiderable time simply staring into space. Reflecting on where I am, where I want to be, and how I want to live my life. There are times I feel the need to remind myself that I only get one. Life, that is. And to not allow it to slip by without noticing.
I renewed my commitment to not live according to other's expectations. To live joyously. To spend more time creating art. To remember to find peace in the cool of the day. To enjoy the simple things: a hot cup of coffee outside at dawn, a walk without a destination, good conversations about nothing in particular, and quiet dinners with old friends.
Driving home, leaving the high peaks, brought tears to my eyes. It almost felt like a good-bye. I hope not. I hope to go back.