Salubrity

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Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea. Drink the wild air’s salubrity. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

As I turn my calendar to August, these are the words and image I find. They urge me to think about what summer has brought so far in terms of salubrity. What is it about my days that promotes my own health and wellbeing? Too often, we fill our days with work, obligations, and endless errands. We encourage others to take a break, rest and refresh. How often do we heed our own advice?

It may seem self-centered to put our own physical and mental wellbeing first, and in a way it is. I came across a quote this week that put things in perspective for me:

Love yourself – accept yourself – forgive yourself – and be good to yourself because without you, the rest of us are without a source of many wonderful things. (Leo F. Buscaglia)

It’s similar to the airplane announcement, “Put on your own mask first, then assist those around you.”

What places and what experiences promote your own wellbeing and invigorate your days? For me, it is mornings in prayer and reflection on my lanai, sunrise on the seashore, cool afternoons in the mountains, and libraries and bookstores. I find refreshment and renewal in travel, photography, books, and swimming, although I often talk myself out of engaging in them. (This summer, I’m quite distracted with a marathon of jigsaw puzzles!)

Folk artists, Patchouli, recorded a song called “The Woods” that inspires me to regain perspective when I have let busy-ness engulf me. Patchouli is a husband-wife team from the upper Midwest who perform in Florida during the winter. This song is from their album Anything Is Possible. There is a YouTube video of Patchouli performing “The Woods.” Here are the lyrics of the first verse:

I go to the woods to feel good
I go to the river to let my mind run
I go to the mountains to gain perspective
I go to the fields to open up
I look to the lake to reflect
I look to the sky to imagine
I travel highways to go somewhere new

I go to the woods.

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Mountains of Montana (2010)

Summer began for me with time at the seashore. Now, I am looking forward to a week in the mountains of Colorado and Montana. I am blessed with these opportunities and grateful that I can “drink in” every salubrious moment.

Q. What are you doing to promote your own wellbeing this summer?

Q. Where do yo go to gain perspective?

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