So I was enjoying a peaceful retreat in the mountains last week. It’s a good place to come away, be with my thoughts, let snarls untangle themselves with no distractions.

My first morning I hiked to the mountain summit. Usually not a difficult climb, this time I felt as though I was behind myself, pushing. I took a different road up, generally considered to be more gradual and less steep but I found myself huffing and panting as much as when I walked the steeper path. So another year older, that wouldn’t make any difference? Maybe it’s all in my mind.

Still the day was clear, sunny. A gift when so often there are unexpected storms any time of year there.

So often our days present themselves open, unhindered to be filled by our fretting anxious thoughts. Racing hither and yon, frantic to complete tasks, errands that when we really look at it, are not essential.

“What is essential is invisible to the eye.” (1)

“It is only with the heart that one can see, rightly.” (2)

So why, at the end of each day, have we no recollection sometimes of the freshness we knew at the first of it? Why do we need to go away, get out of sight of the familiar to appreciate the familiar?

Sometimes a different environment resets our heart, our mind. Gives us a new focus so when we return to our familiar lives we are not the same.


(1), (2): Antoine de Saint-Exupery: The Little Prince


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