I’m currently enjoying a little break as I’ve recently finished my comprehensive exams. I’m enjoying reconnecting with friends, family and the world around me. What I’m noticing the most in this period of time is how much clearer my thoughts are. I’m attributing this to lower stress and having time to go for a walk outside and having time to work in my garden.
My best ideas happen when I’m out near the ocean or going for a walk in an area where I don’t hear traffic and I can take in the world around me at a leisurely pace. This isn’t to say that my ideas evolve independent of study, they don’t, but I would say that having time to relax and reconnect with the more than human world is essential to being healthy and whole. In fact it is usually when I’m out for a long walk that the things I’ve been reading come into focus and that new ideas start forming.
Henry David Thoreau wrote, during his stay at Walden Pond, that “it appears to be a law that you cannot have a deep sympathy with both man and nature” and yet I find that is exactly where I exist — in sympathy with both. And so, I do my best to connect with what it is to be human and what it is to be of the earth. It is in fact in an effort to seek these connections that I study and write and try to learn as much as I possibly can so that I can come to negotiate these actualities and ideas through a fluid mapping of clearly overlapping territories.
To rest, fresh air and new ideas…
“I frequently tramped eight or ten miles through the deepest snow to keep an appointment with a beech tree, or a yellow birch, or an old acquaintance among the pines.” Henry David Thoreau
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