On my way to collect first-Daughter for a Mother-Daughter date to IKEA I traveled the back roads between our two towns. The roads take me through farmland and orchards & past cows and historical markers. I pass a mixed orange and white pumpkin patch just beginning to show their colors. My favorite view from the window this time of year is the wanton Queen Anne's Lace running wild on both sides of the road. I also love the fireflies which come out at dusk during late summer in the mid-west. There is nothing like the sweet joy of a watching the fireflies sparkling about in the heat of an evening. We don't have glowing fireflies in Oregon and are the sadder for it.
On this trip, in an unlikely stretch of road for stopping, the car in front of me began signalling to get over onto the shoulder. My first thoughts were "I hope she's okay. Should I stop?" and then noticed the other car parked just ahead of where she was pulling in. And a man with a very large bucket down the hill below and beyond the blackberries. Next thought, "Oh, she's blackberrying!"
I am driving along in the country under a clear, slightly crisp August morning sky and there are people blackberrying on the side of the road. It brought such joy to my heart. Joy and peace. Back road traveling is one of my antidotes for the stress of too many people -- I am introvert and need time away from others to simply recharge. I love all the people in my life but taking the long way to my destination keeps me loving them. Knowing people are gathering wild blackberries on the side of the road was an added morning bonus!
We usually think of antidotes as the thing which counteracts or relieves the negative effects of a bee sting or poison, but we also need positive, neutralizing means to counteract daily stress, fear, anxiety, grief, heartache, disappointment, or _______________ fill in the blank with your choice of life's negative effects!
Antidotes also require time to be effective. Taking time. Making time. Spending time. However you frame it, purposeful use of time for your antidote against life's negative effects is required!
I wish for you many antidotes, the means and time to bring joy and peace into your life. Summer -- beautiful August summer -- is a perfect antidote. Find refreshment in taking a back road trip. Go outside. Get sweaty -- not hard with our recent humidity! Go for a walk in the crisp of dawn or at the end of the day's heat. Find a tree to sit under. Better yet, find a tree to take a nap under. Watch the moon move across the sky.
Or simply take the time to pick wild blackberries.