As the evenings get a little darker and the mornings a little cooler, my body struggles to adjust. Leaves start to change colour and my hips begin to ache. I am tired and no amount of hiding beneath the covers with my head buried in a book or a blur of dreams can pull me out of this mini hibernation. Impromptu planking sessions that slowly turn into child’s pose beneath my desk give a temporary boost of energy, but it quickly fades and I fall back into my inbetween-seasons slump. It’s the city life. It doesn’t bode well with the changing of the seasons. You can’t smell halloween on the horizon and there are no conkers trickling along the path at your feet. Leaves fall and turn a shade of gold, but there’s no crunch to them like there is back home, in the countryside. Oh man, I miss fresh air. Yes, I know I sound moany right now, but sometimes you just need to acknowledge your feelings and be honest with yourself. I miss nature. I kid myself that I can survive in an urban jungle, but I’m not sure I really can. Panic crawls around in my insides when I’m squeezed onto a bus with hundreds. Car fumes and nicotine swirl around the air and creep into my lungs. I am actually beyond craving the smell of wet grass and clean rain drops, I need them in my life right now.
A few weeks ago I had a massage for the first time in about a year and the lady was shocked by all the knots in my back. No amount of kneading could untie them, and deep down I know the only way to get rid of them is to run through an emerald field with no other people around me. That’s when I am myself, when everything slides away, when the stress rolls back to the city and I am left, light and free, in nature again, where I am supposed to be.
And it’s all my fault. The knots and the grey hairs and the heart palpitations. I brought it on myself by choosing to live in a city. And don’t get me wrong, I don’t regret it for a second. I love the convenience of life here, the buzz, the opportunities. But most of all I love it because I know it won’t be forever. I know that sooner or later I will slip back to a simple village life where the only sounds will be the wind blowing through the trees and the waves flirting with the seashells lying on the beach.
We are seriously crazy to live on top of each other in cloud-tickling towers, with our neighbours so close we can hear their every breath, but we choose to do so, and so let’s rather be content with it and find ways to enjoy it. And I must admit, it is pretty handy to be able to be awoken by my neighbour’s alarm clock every morning. I guess this city life does have its benefits…
But really, let’s get back to the root of things- to nature. The smell of the forest and moist earth. Mud caked on your shoes or even better, between your toes. The wind in your hair and salt on your lips, fresh from the sea. An elephant just around the corner, not behind a cage, and cats roaming the alleyways like kings. Strangers smiling and laughing, just because. Mid-afternoon monsoons that cleanse away all the dust and stress you brought with you from your urban jungle. Let it all go.
And on that note, I am off to frolic and flirt with nature in Chiang Mai tomorrow.
p.s. Any tips on dealing with Urbanjungleitis, as I like to call it?