By Caitlin Kelly
I love you guys. Really.
But two entire days far away from email and computer is a blessed and necessary break for my hands, eyes and brain.
To spend it, as we did last weekend at a friend’s cabin in the Catskills, right beside a rushing stream lulling us to sleep — bliss!
I was very lucky to grow up with parents who loved the outdoors and took long country walks. I also spent every summer, ages 8 to 17, at a summer camp in northern Ontario, surrounded by silence and birch trees, whispering pines and weathered granite.
We canoed across deep lakes, and the sunlight refracted in the tiny whirlpool of our every paddle stroke created a star sapphire in those ancient waters.
For a while, my father had a 200+ year old house in the Irish countryside, complete with a wide, cold stream thick with watercress we could pick and make into salad. We stood in Galway Bay, plucking fresh mussels, and went home and made soup.
I love re-connecting with nature and after too much time indoors by artificial light touching plastic, I miss it terribly.
After a week of so much computer time my eyes were sore and watery, I really needed to look at leaves and stars and stone.
So the weekend was perfect.
Lying, snoozing, in a wide hammock strung between two towering trees, dappled by filtered sunlight, all I could see was some bright blue sky with a fresh contrail.
Walking through the woods, I marveled at moss so thick and springy I wanted to make a bed of it and settle down for a nap. Mushrooms, of every possible variety, lay everywhere — many of them with their edges delicately nibbled by something small and hungry.
At night we light a bonfire and sat beside it, feeling small and primeval — not just weary New Yorkers, (three journalists and a spokesman for one of the area’s most-used services), usually attached to cellphones rushing to deal with the latest emergency. We stared up into the night sky and marveled at a rare sight in this light-polluted part of the world: the Milky Way.
As the fire burned out, we pushed the charred logs closer and closer, the embers winking and glowing through the darkness.
Do you make time to be at home in the natural world?
When and where?