Growing up in New England all of my life, one of my favorite delights when fall comes around with the changing leaves. The world transforms from hot, sticky and cramped inside with the air conditioning to cool or mild, colorful and even magical as if you were living in a colorful painting.
Yesterday, my parents and I took a scenic drive for leaf peeping. Even though I was tired because of staying up too late (I blame college and the transition from finishing school to job hunting), I needed the breather. It was fun to get out of the house for a change and just take a drive unplugged, disconnected and listen to my own music on a CD player (or, in my parents’ case, sports radio revolving around the Patriots). Even the best writers need a day, or at least a couple of hours, away from the computer screen and the onslaught of writing articles, emails and so on.
We went up as far as Brattleboro, VT before we turned back. A few times we pulled over so my Dad and I could take pictures with our cameras (that’s right, no cell phones. We’re old fashioned that way). Even though I do take photos on my phone now, especially when I was in college, I still use my Nikon Coolpix L20 camera.
At one point, I even opened my notebook to write down about this row of rocks I saw on the edge of some wooded area we drove by. I just found that different, and who knows, might be useful in a story down the road.
Nature is good for the soul. I remember at one point after lunch in North Adams, we stopped somewhere else in the Berkshires, and something interesting happened. The breeze picked up, and I felt lighter. Relaxed, calmer about things. There was even a moment when we were in Vermont, I had the window down slightly so a small breeze came in. I closed my eyes with the sun shining against my face. I felt peace.
No matter your job, period of life you’re in and so on, you have those moments where nature is the best medicine. Your playground to feel happier again and get away from the bustle of the city. That’s why I tell family and friends I could never handle living in New York City, where a lot of publishing jobs are found. The noise, congestion of traffic and so many people would be a difficult environment. For those who love that, more power to ya!
But, I need natural settings once in a while, especially when my life gets hectic. A scenic drive during Fall in New England was just the refreshing touch I needed. So take a break from that computer or phone screen. Go on a hike with a friend or small group. Go on a long drive knowing where you want to go, or just let adventure take over and see where you end up.
Is nature an option for taking a break? How does nature or long, scenic drives help you feel better or refreshed?