Lessons from Sunny Scotland
I recently spent a beautiful weekend in Aviemore in Scotland. Here are some of my reflections:
On the train I was struck by the amount of people who were looking at their laptops and mobile phones rather than looking out of the window. The views were breath-taking and yet 90% of the passengers on the train were completely oblivious. I found myself wondering whether I would do the same if I took that journey regularly. Can you just get used to such beauty? And how often do we do this on our own commute? It is easy for me to have a sense of awe and wonder when looking out of the window at a new landscape, but do I remember to do it on an ‘ordinary’ bus journey into Newcastle? This reminded me of the importance of being a tourist in every moment – even (or maybe especially) when we are at home!
On the Sunday I went for a walk with my husband and overheard a father and son talking. The dad was explaining to his little boy about how it can be good to get lost. Getting lost is an adventure! It was lovely to be reminded of the innocence and curiosity of children. We can learn so much from children. I made a point of taking a different path to the one we had originally planned and this led onto a small Loch where we were able to paddle and I even saw a newt! We can get so used to walking or driving the same routes – why not make a practice of getting lost more often? Just explore and see where you end up?
The vastness of nature itself can be a reminder to put our troubles into perspective. In Aviemore I was surrounded by huge mountains and trees. These mountains and trees had been around long before me and would still be around long after I have gone. Suddenly my problems seem less significant. We are all just a part of something so much bigger. In the vastness of nature suddenly interpersonal arguments and to-do lists seem so much less important. Make the time to go into nature and see for yourself. Take in the vastness of a mountain or a forest and notice how you feel.
Relaxation isn’t easy. We can often feel that there are more important things to do. But this trip really reminded me of what is actually important. Sometimes the most important thing we can do is to stop in awe and wonder and the beauty of the world – and just breathe!