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The Importance of Outdoors, Nature, and Wilderness

copyright 2008 by Milica Barjaktarovic

This week it was Xmass holidays, it was raining a lot, I was staying home, studying a business online course with quite high-stakes, tricky, difficult, brand new homework which I wasn't doing very well, in my opinion. My head was spinning, stuck at the computer all day long... As soon as it would stop raining, I'd try to go out. Then my cat would come in and I'd stay to keep her company, or I would find "one more little thing to do - just this" and by the time I was ready to go out, it was raining again..... For days..... It didn't help that a rotten wannabe boyfriend treated me like dirt, and trying to overcome that while feeling this self pity about the homework seemed rather impossible. As soon as I would say to myself: "don't think about him!" it is the same thing as when we say: "don't think about the pink elephant!" because it makes us think only of the pink elephant... And I was furious, that dirty scoundrel was getting on fine with his life, and I was not.... and ... 

In short, I went bananas. 

Then, when I was feeling like a hot chilly pepper stuck inside my apartment, just about to kill somebody, I had to go to a bank and to drop off some brochures. S... was my first reaction. I didn't want to leave the house. I was so belligerent. 

Well, I went. That went all right! The sun was shining, there were other people, and life was going on, with me or without me. So I decided to participate. Life was fun after all.

Sitting on the beach that I haven't visited in a long time, I waited to drop the brochures. Hm, that was nice... I have been going (only) to the beach near my house and it was nice to change. My beach is always slanted and it is hard to walk on it. This beach was flat (this time - it changes all the time) and it was fun walking on it. I dropped the brochures and went for a walk on this wonderful newly discovered old beach. I went all the way to the end. I swam in a big pool of tidal water coming in and making fuzzy swirls. Like a huge Jacuzzi. Surfers slid down big waves on the other side of the coral reef. A strange big yellow dog with a green collar followed me back, letting me walk him. He stopped to say hi to all the kids, and I was a little worried and kept on yelling to parents: it's not my dog! he is just following me! do you know him?" Nobody knew him.. .We walked all the way to the other side of the beach, where there are big waves and I swam and let the waves roll me back in. Then I walked back and just stood on the sand on the peninsula. 

The sky was blue, the sand was golden, the clouds fluffy, the water shiny, moving in circles, gray green and foam white, and the January light gave it a crispy and cool look. The dog met some other dogs and kept on saying hi to everyone. He really liked kids. 

I just stood there. All my worries have melted away. It was just bliss... The mountains far away, the rest of the shore, the trace of green foam on golden sand, extraordinarily beautiful, just beautiful... It rained a little and there was a hint of rainbow. I was planted. Not moving, letting the wind and the sun dry my body, letting the sprinkle refresh, breathing the salty air... Gosh.... This place is sooo beautiful....  

Well, after that I was just one happy camper, totally mellow and totally blissed out.

A bunch of kids and a woman ran along the beach and the woman grabbed the yellow dog by his collar and dragged him back towards the cars. I yelled: is that your dog? And all the kids said: yes! we thought he was lost forever! I said, well I walked him from the other end of the beach. And they thanked me. A man came out of the car and the dog said hi to him too. 

When I came home, the kids next door (again) left their friends' big german shepard locked inside and she barked like crazy... Oh no... not again... I yelled at her to shut up and of course she barked more... How can I bring that peace from the beach into my house?

My neighbor was going out to church, all happy. She said she will sit by the water as she told me she would. She loves the water. Her daughter died last year and this year is a new beginning for her. I told her yesterday it's ok to curse at God. He doesn't mind. She laughed then. Today she politely listened to the dog complaint but luckily I was smart enough to see she was beaming and there was no sense in spoiling it for her, so I shut up my mouth and just smiled and waved bye, have fun! She waved back and drove away.

My cat snuck into my place seemingly without any worries. The fluffy critter is so cute and has such a wonderful fuzzy coat, which she doesn't like to share very much, so we are still working on the petting part. When she was small, kids abused her and she still remembers. I courted her a little, telling her how pretty she is and petting her the way she likes, barely touching her fur, not even touching her skin. She loves that. I was cooing and adoring her and petting her gently. The dog next door became quiet. 

 

That is the importance of Great Outdoors in our life. Without it, we are nothing. Just some fried city worms. 

It has to be WILD. It has to be NATURAL. It has to be EARTHY. It has to be NAKED - no toys, no human interventions, no hoola boola hoopla exciting new tricks. 

JUST LAND. And me. Hanging out with God. 

 

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