It would seem that for most of us, this year has brought about a prevailing sense of despair and loss. With the devastation of drought, fire, and flood, closely followed by the confusion and uncertainty of the pandemic, it feels like we have been condemned to a never-ending, rickety rollercoaster ride that, try as we might, we can’t seem to step off. There have been losses, of life and income, and the simple consistency of our days, that have caused at turns immense grief and an uprising of hopeful proactiveness. Often, emotions swing between the two poles. However, and seemingly indifferent to our collective societal plight, the seasons change, night becomes day, life goes on. And there is no better way to see this than to step outside.
While taking a moment to physically step away from the unrelenting conditions we are currently facing does not alter that reality, it does provide a fragment of space to suspend thoughts and give space for our emotions.
As Sunday comes round, and if the weather has not turned wet and bitterly cold, we find ourselves drawn to the hills to explore. We are fortunate to live on a large property set against a hill with granite rocks to climb, caves to explore, bones to collect, deep creeks to edge our way into, and many valleys and saddles to walk. It is a special place and we feel very lucky to be able to live and raise our family here.
But, even if you don’t have a hill to explore at your back door, there is still a sense of quiet contemplation to be gained by stepping outside in your neighbourhood. Walking down your street, past your neighbour’s homes, to a park, to gaze at the sky, listen to the birds, feel the air on your face, the wind in your hair – these quiet moments are available to us all. And, if you are exploring your neighbourhood you have the added benefit of connecting with your community, which in the current climate, is a very special gift indeed.
Make time to explore outside, in your neighbourhood or in the bush. It is the cheapest and most readily available therapy I know.