I read a while back about doctors who were prescribing nature walks to their patients instead of medication. Fresh air, exercise, and a chance to enjoy the outdoors, sans electronics, was said to be restorative and healing. "Are doctors just now figuring this out?", I thought? It seems so obvious, yet I sometimes overlook how peaceful my garden can be when I focus solely on what I think needs to be done.
I came home from work early on Monday with a raging stomach ache. A nasty virus? Maybe. Stress? Probably. A combination of the two? Definitely. I felt slightly rotten when I woke up but calling for a sub at the last minute is rarely a good idea and often results in disaster. By noon, I was headed home and my students were in the able hands of another teacher. Comforted by five dogs, concerned I might be too sick to pet them, I crawled into bed and passed out. When I woke later, I mulled my options: grade papers, grade more papers, or head out towards the garden. Options one and two just induced more nausea so, in my pajamas at 3 in the afternoon, I headed for my hammock. I wouldn't work, putter, or redesign. I would just do nothing. Joined by my daughter and a couple of dogs, I slept a bit, listened to the birds jostling for seed at the feeders, and watched the sky through a canopy of cherry leaves. I didn't need medication, just a hammock full of happy.