Places that lower my blood pressure and stress level until I can sit, completely still and breathe deeply. Places where I don't need to be entertained. Places where I feel no pressure to look or perform. Places where I sleep better than at home.
Girl Scout camp is one of those places, the tall shade trees, the lake, the trails and the general connection with nature are like food for my soul. I just can't get enough of it. Last Labor Day I took my girls to camp with tentative hope that they would come to love it as I do. I was blown away when my little's, with their TV and Nintendo filled lives, took to camp like ducks to water (see what I did there?) They helped find firewood, chased frogs, played with flashlights and slept through the night even through a short rainstorm. I could spend weeks there, listening to the wind in the trees, taking naps, canoeing in the lake and swimming in the pool. It's a deep breathe place. One where the calm and peace are likely written all over my face. I come home bug bitten, bruised, scratched, sunburned and happy.
Another of those places is the Farm. A friend of ours owns a bed and breakfast that allows you to rent an entire house for a weekend (for less than many hotel rooms) and there is a creek, and old farmhouse, a fire circle and acres of places to explore. they have spent year cultivating a hummingbird following and now in the summer months you can sit on the wide front porch in one of the wooden swings and listen to the buzz of the colorful kamikaze birds as they come close to get a sip of something sweet from the feeders. The spring fed creek is cold, even in august and after building up a small dam, you can get a pool float, grab a cool beverage, put on some sunglasses and laze away an afternoon, soaking up to sun. At night, the lack of city lights lets a multitude of stars shine down while you make s'mores and listen to music around the campfire. It's heavenly and I hate when it's time to leave. I breathe deep there too.
It's a lovely thing, breathing deep. It's a thankful, peaceful feeling, it feels right.