Lockdown has finally hit me with a bag of rocks. A few days ago I was happy, enjoying my life and hopeful that all is getting better. Then I got into a painful disagreement with family which led me to think about things I need and miss but can’t have right now. A storm of anxiety, nostalgia, and fear appeared inside my head and I lost the appetite for food and life.
Meditation, exercise, walk in a park, meeting people, talking about my problems, alcohol, or candles no longer bring me any peace. I know exactly what I need right now, after 8 months of being glued to the desk, exploring every green corner of Edinburgh, and a few weeks of sleepless nights due to neverending city noise… Maybe quarantine, colder weather showed me a quiet beautiful city and now I find that noise unbearable. I beg for rain and it should rain for the rest of the week… Only because the city turns quiet in the rain.
Nature doesn’t need you, but you need nature. This has never felt more true. My anxiety over killing and polluting it is mixed with endless desire to connect with it. My mental state changes after city breaks, after being alone with myself and sorting through my thoughts in the most natural, overwhelmingly beautiful, quiet and wild environment. Parks don’t do that for you… Also, there’s too much man-made noise. Edinburgh is rich with parks, watersides, trees, but after 3 months and 10 days, I am finally cracking: I am tired of the noise, tired of people, tired of the music, I am just very tired…
Maybe I feel this way because I lost sleep. The whirlwind in my brain can no longer be stopped. This morning I woke up at 5 am unable to fall back to sleep. I packed my bag, had a cup of tea, and took the bike: I went out to look for nature. It’s early enough on Saturday morning, I hoped, nature will be empty, and biking always makes me feel so much better about everything, even if I am very short on sleep.
After 2 hours riding alongside the canal, I felt that this is a good spot to turn back or find another way home. I ate my breakfast in a lovely quiet spot right there, pedalled back and went to explore the area around. I also knew that around 11 there will be rain showers. They started at around 10:20, but that’s just part of nature and as I mentioned earlier, I love rain.
I found that Ratho is a very beautiful town, where I will not be able to buy a house any time soon. I sat down there and read my book for a little while, completed some of its exercises, listened to a sweet chatter from a couple near me. After a little bit of an escape even people don’t bother me that much. I still can’t open my windows at home. People and their noise.
I felt slightly better, but a few hours outside is not the same as a week with just “I” and nature. I can’t go back there right now or maybe ever, but my grandparents’ house is still there. I suddenly grew intense desire to go see it and escape work, news, make simple breakfast in a kitchen that is rarely used, organise a lifetime of photos and clean up my hard drive, read some of my book collection, walk in the garden and ride to the forest, feel the spirit of that house I grew up in, visit the town to find those pastries I remember from my childhood but haven’t seen ever since. I would need to bring water from the well but that’s ok, I wouldn’t have wifi, and that’s good. All days would be the same, quiet, alone, with nothing to do. And that would be everything I need.
To calm my raving mind I disconnect this weekend: blocked websites (Amazon prime, flight search (yeap), YouTube, social media and everything in between), deleted some apps, turned off the internet, cancelled plans. Quiet as much as I can do about it.
Nature, I really need you.