28 March 2012

Simple Living Tip: Make Way for Idle Time

The last days of March have never been warmer in Norway. So warm that we can lay on the beach until sunset. Quite the Mediterranean dream some thousands of miles north of it.

So here I am, on a regular March weekday, lying in my husband's arms on the beach. His slow breathing and the repetitive rising and falling of his chest set me in a trans-like mood that sharpens my sensitivity and makes me forget all about blogging, deadlines, plans and schedules. Even my camera lays forgotten in its bag some feet away.

Photo: Kanelstrand

I close my eyes and let the young sun rays caress my eyelids. Behind them all is dark but comfortable. My place. I listen. I listen with all my being. The waves of the North Sea crash lazily on the wet sand on the left. On the right there is an almost insane but hardly noticeable cracking -- the small birds play in the forest. They peck, dab and nibble on the pine cones; then they hop from branch to branch on the tall Norwegian pines that have been growing right by the beach for the past 100 years. 

A gust of wind that playfully ruffles my hair sounds like a storm up above on the high cliff at the close end of the beach. The pine branches get way more ruffles up there than my hair does, comfortably hidden between the dunes. 

A sound on the left -- a raven announces the coming back of a fishing boat, followed by a large flock of shiny white seagulls milling about it lured by the smell of fish.

And then again, the whimsical forest song echoing from hundreds of tiny yellow breasts -- my friends, the Great Tits. Their songs are versatile and joyful. "Birds are happier than men"* but not today. Because today I can relish this incredible spring performance and keep it in my mind.

Only now I notice -- I have stopped breathing. I am so devoted to the moment that I have been keeping my breath forever. Inhale. Deeply. The sea air fills my lungs with salty-sweet freshness.  Exhale. No,  I want to keep it -- inhale again. If I go on living here, between the boreal forest and the sea, I will live forever.

But right now, I want to share with you this breath of fresh air that will keep you young, or at least that's what the experts claim will happen if you take regular walks by the sea or better yet, combined with a pine forest. I hope that you can re-live the tiny stretch of idleness with me and pause, at least for a moment, in your busy day. Please, stop what you are doing and imagine you are here with me, on that same sandy beach between the North Sea and the Pine Forest.

Wherever you live you can find your magic spot - the one that will soothe you and inspire your work or your hobby. For some that place is close to water, for others it is on a mountain top, and yet others enjoy the hustle and bustle of a busy town.

Wherever that spot is, go there today. Close your eyes and have an idle moment. You deserve it. Because really, idleness is not idle at all, it is a necessary physical slowing down that will feed your brain and launch you higher than you have dared to dream.

If that place coincides with mine, or if you are curious to see how our beach looked in the early morning of quite a similarly memorable spring day, if you like swans and ravens, see the video that my husband shot especially for you. I think the seagull that appears in 00:40 is very possibly one of the fishing boat's crew. We live in a small place, we know each other.

And don't forget to turn the volume up to hear my feathery friends' songs. 

Where is your magic spot where you can relax and recharge?

*A quote by Icelandic Nobel Prize laureate Halldór Laxness