“Existence in the present gives island living an extreme vividness and purity. One lives like a child or a saint in the immediacy of here and now.”
— Anne Morrow Lindbergh
A brief spell away from the madding crowd is the best antidote to stress, worries, and anxiety. It could just be a daydream or a memory of happier times.
One needs the occasional respite — mental and spiritual — to recharge the inner battery. An individual feels stronger from basking in sunshine, inhaling fresh air, and seeing a change of scenery.
A reverie is time off from all the toxic demands, heavy pressures, and worries. The best feeling is release — from the pressure of the clock, calendar, and schedule.
One sheds the armor and mask. One sets aside — temporarily — the list of “must do’s” and resists the feeling of being pulled apart by so many opposing forces.
In the ideal world of simplicity, only the basics count. There are no superfluities and no distractions.
But where and when can one find this type of life?
In distant isolation, one can open the imagination to experience the benevolence of nature’s nuances — one day at a time.
In this daydream, one can imagine the changing seasons. Each season has a temperament of its own and distinct qualities of transformation.
Nature’s cycle reflects the essence of life. Everything is fleeting. Nothing remains the same. Except change.
A moment of beauty is precious because it is ephemeral.
A crystal snowflake, a sunrise, a glowing moonbeam vanish — in the blink of an eye.
One cannot replay an awesome scene like a movie rerun. The feeling will never be the same again. Things always change — including ourselves and the way we perceive things.
The armchair traveler can reminisce about past journeys, the adventures of memorable chapters of one’s life.
A frosty winter breaks into spring, the season of rebirth.
The iridescent icicles on the bare branches and the gleaming snow on the hills melt. The pale blanket evaporates into a fine veil of mist and vanishes as the sun breaks through.
The white dogwood buds and tiny leaves sprout gently. The cherry blossoms burst into a magnificent cascade of blush and bright pink.
Butterflies burst from their cocoons in a profusion of fluttering colorful wings. Robins chirp, nest, and soar to welcome the new powder blue sky.
Summer splashes verdant greens and brilliant blossoms on the landscape. Chipmunks and squirrels scamper to the tree trunks. A graceful trio of deer and fawns freeze, peeking from the shadows of the trees. A slight movement scares them to seek cover in the forest.
The last vestiges of summer fade.
The midmorning sizzle and blinding glare mellow into the patina of burnished gold.
The enervating haze and heavy humidity evaporate. It is refreshing to inhale the cool morning air. After sunset, the temperature drops by 20 degrees. Autumn blazes across the countryside.
The breeze rustles the leaves of the oak, birch, and maple trees. The landscape is gold, copper, russet, and crimson. The myriad shades are dazzling facets of an impressionist painting.
One lingers on a slope, gazing at the splendor of autumn. The sounds of the waterfall and the gurgling brook are a counterpoint to the rhythm of rustling, drifting leaves.
November evokes a mélange of memories of the Big Apple.
The high-power energy of the city is a startling contrast to the calm pace of the countryside.
One is jolted by the sounds of whizzing and whirring, honking and buzzing, the exhilarating hustle, bustle, tussle and tumble of the metropolis.
The senses are stimulated by the nervous energy in the air. The adrenaline rush charges the body like a sudden surge of electricity.
Despite the geographical distance (and the years between visits), New York always stays dormant deep within.
A sudden spark flickers, startles, and awakens the restless spirit. It is ready to zoom to the skyscrapers.
Stepping back into a time bubble, one recalls those carefree years. There are not enough hours in a day or days in a year to take it all in.
The alluring images are hypnotic strobe lights. On can almost smell the intoxicating aromas and savor the flavors, textures, and hear the familiar sounds.
There are a million precious moments compressed in the brain’s data bank and photo albums neatly tucked away. There are endless flashbacks triggered by a song.
Wandering through the paths of Central Park with its glorious autumn foliage, strolling by the reservoir, riding a horse carriage, viewing exhibits at the Met and the Guggenheim, catching new plays, concerts, operas, and ballet performances, walking on the icy sidewalk of 5th Avenue in the chilly rain, running to school, dancing on the street, taking black and white photographs and printing them for an exhibit, performing in a televised children’s play (off Broadway), falling into the orchestra pit, sipping the popular frozen hot chocolate in Serendipity, lighting candles at St. Patrick’s.
Then there were sudden and extreme upheavals that caused an intense transformation — storms on different levels.
Survival is a struggle and resilience is essential. The aura, visage and manner now seem calm, unperturbed, and mellow.
After the long inner journey, there is a sense of regained balance and peace.
One has moved on and forward, yet this reverie tugs at the heartstrings. It rekindles the lingering feeling of a karmic bond of an old, intense love.
Maria Victoria Rufino is an artist, writer and businesswoman. She is president and executive producer of Maverick Productions.