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Traveling Allows Us to Disconnect and Focus on the Present

Leisure creates moments of repose

By Brenda MahlerPublished 9 months ago 3 min read
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"There are moments when all anxiety and stated toil are becalmed in the infinite leisure and repose of nature." ~Henry David Thoreau.

Sitting among trees under leaves painted vibrant colors by the touch of the cool air of the fall mornings reminds me of my significance. Watching and listening to the wonders of nature generates appreciation of events yet to happen. Simply opening my eyes, standing still, and listening, I notice the extraordinary moments of ordinary, daily occurrences reminding me of my importance as a living entity in this world.

Traveling in our motorhome across the US provides an opportunity to slow down notice the ever changing world. Often we park in RV sites outside of the bustle of towns. It's amazing how a few trees can conceal the congestion and craziness that comes with communities, stores, museums, and just the simple life of humans.

When we are blessed with a space to stay away from the commotion, we cherish the opportunity. These times even though we are at an RV park we call camping. With camping comes a fire, sometimes marshmallows and usually a warm drink. Sitting near a fire warms our bodies but also our spirits.

Hot coals nestle under the burning logs getting hotter as the flames decrease. The wood, when consumed by the campfire, emits intermittent billows of smoke while the glowing, amber embers radiate heat. Hard to believe the temps are in the 80’s at home, but in the mountains the morning temperatures barely hit 50 degrees. I play a game of musical chairs as the smoke shifts direction with the breeze causing annoyance shadowed by excitement.

The fresh, crisp air carries the birds’ chirping, tweeting, and cheeping. Recently, I was introduced to the sound of the cicadas while in New Hampshire. A squirrel scampers around, up and through the trees completely knowledgeable of the frustration he inflicts on my dogs.

When my phone beeps, I wonder why I allow it to pollute my peace. But I look at the update from CNN, politics. Apparently, the accusations of "he said" and "she said" continue even when the TV is turned off. I wonder for a moment what prompts humans to intentionally seek conflict.

A smell of cannabis drifts from the campsite next door. An aroma I dislike but ignore because I am a guest in a different state. I move to a different chair as the wind shifts. I move a little left, to avoid the fire's smoke. This smoke is a natural process of regeneration. I watch it drift into the sky carrying a prayer of thankfulness for the beauty of nature and asking for the protection of humankind.

My phone beeps again, I reach over and turn it off without looking at the screen.

If only this moment could be boxed, shipped and sold around the world for others to experience. But then the commercialization would tarnish the purity of the landscape. Relaxing sounds emitting from a machine, posters of a woodland scene, or smells of pine dispensed through a diffuser cannot replace the reality of nature.

I am no Henry David Thoreau; I still go for long walks with my iPhone in my back pocket. But I am wise enough to mute it and leave it pocketed. I exist in a modern world and even though I embellish life with modern technology, the calming value of nature prompts me to recognize what is important. Our significance doesn’t come from things but experiences.

The fire’s smoke carries my thoughts upward and then a bit gets in my eyes forcing me again to move. However, I do so willingly knowing my mind as well as my lungs will clear when the fresh air is inhaled.

Yes, we are traveling across the US, from Idaho to Maine. Each day brings new experiences, exciting adventures, unique cultures, and exquisite foods. However, whenever the opportunity to sit and reflect on the day arises, we cherish the moments.

Sometimes, I share my thoughts in writing. Other times, the words tell stories of our adventures. You can follow our journey by reading my stories on Vocal Media or Facebook. RVing in Retirement


About the Creator

Brenda Mahler


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Comments (2)

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  • afifa8 months ago

    I am liking every word of your article. Great job.

  • Alex H Mittelman 9 months ago

    Great work! Fantastic job ! 💙

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