I think that, sometimes, life can really get us down. As a student, the pressure of exams constantly looms over me around this time of year, and then there’s the usual life problems and complications that grind away at each and every one of us day in, day out. With all of this pressing down on us, I can’t help but feel that we, as a society and as individuals, need to take time out from all of this every so often, and do something that genuinely makes us happy. it may seem selfish – doing something for the pure and simple reason that it makes you as an individual feel good -, but frankly, it’s not. Selfishness is the living of a life where everything revolves around you, and others just don’t come into the situation.
One of the things that I like to do, and which makes me feel happy is sitting in the garden in the morning – the exact time varies from season to season – and allowing nature to simply wash over me. It sounds deep, metaphorical and honestly extremely cliché, but it genuinely is one of my favourite things. It’s so lovely to feel the rising sun bathe you in golden light and comforting warmth; to allow the smell of the damp grass to be wafted in your direction by a gentle breeze which tickles your skin; to allow the sound of freshly-awakened birds to pierce the otherwise beautiful silence, calling out, celebrating the fact that they have another day to enjoy on this Earth. Nothing compares to the natural beauty that can be experienced in the early morning, and which would otherwise be first ignored and then, slowly, forgotten entirely.
Although they say that natural beauty should be enjoyed fully, with no distractions or other attention-dividing tasks, I find it most relaxing to simultaneously read, or listen to music, or even write a blog post whilst in the garden at this time. There’s no end of inspiration out there, which is not only good for writing blog posts, but also for reading, or listening to music; a change of scene can really bring a new element into a piece of art, whether that art be literary or musical. Suddenly, a sentence means something unbelievably more magical, a lyric strikes a new chord within you, because you’re somewhere else, with inspiration and new ideas all around you, experienced by every sense.
As you can see, by enjoying nature, I’m benefiting nobody else besides myself, and I suppose this is selfish by definition. But honestly, I don’t believe that. Life is comparatively short, and yet stretches for years ahead of us, and who is to say that this won’t be the last time that you have the opportunity to sit and just enjoy a garden in a similar situation to the one you are in today? Mental and emotional wellbeing is invaluable, and yet I feel that it’s worth is seriously undervalued by society today, and so many people, whether they recognise this or not, don’t have true mental and emotional peace and happiness.
We all need to smile.
I’m going to set a task: today, or this week, do something for 30-60 minutes which makes you happy. Don’t think how it benefits others first [unless you happen to enjoy being a murderer, in which case please turn yourself in to the police]; just go ahead and allow yourself to relax, smile and be happy. I say this especially to those of you who are in the midst of exams right now. Take an hour out of your revision, and just relax: if nothing else, it’ll make the next few hours of revision and the following week of exams start with a better mindset.
I’ll be in the garden, with my iPad, reading a book if you need me…