Hubby and I have both been sick lately — “just” head colds but nasty ones that dragged on and on. I spent 8 days in bed, with the exception of a doctor visit when I developed an ear infection. But even after that, I have been feeling bleugh. You know, heady, no energy, pretty much merely existing without taking any pleasure from the fact.
On Thursday, the first time in 8 days that I didn’t have a headache, I did something radical: I made a plan. I suggested to Dohn that we go for a picnic on Saturday. I like picnics. Normally, though, we only start to think about it on the day, which means we generally don’t do it at all as we haven’t allowed time for prep. This time, we decided where to go and what we would eat. We even did the necessary food shopping ahead of time. Wonders will never cease.
We decided to visit Serpentine Falls and Serpentine Dam, in the Perth Hills south-east of the city. We headed down the freeway and turned into Mundijong road. Pretty much the whole stretch of this road from the freeway to South West Highway was countryside (as opposed to suburbia). Just driving through it, I felt refreshed. Open spaces! I hadn’t been out of the house since my doctor visit, over a week beforehand. And there is just something about green-covered, wide open spaces that lifts my spirits.
At Serpentine Falls, we parked and wandered the 400m to the falls. I can’t say they were exactly impressive in themselves, but there is just, well, something about walking down a bush trail on a lovely winter day, with birds singing and anonymous rustles in the undergrowth to alert you to the fact that you’re not as alone as you might have thought. And then, a lovely waterfall and natural pool to greet you at the end of the trail. There is something very soothing about water in a forest.
Along one of the walk trails near Serpentine Falls.
I still wasn’t completely well, but I felt good.
We had a delicious barbecue lunch with kangaroos hopping greedily around the picnic tables, apparently friendly, but then again tourists who didn’t give a hoot about their health were feeding them despite the many warning signposts, so naturally they were hanging around.
Kangaroo at the picnic grounds.
We then drove over to Serpentine Dam.
Serpentine Dam, which is one of the dams that supplies water to the Perth area, is a far greater expanse of water, complete with vast concrete and limestone rock structures, and overlooked by a cafe on the nearby hillside where many “tame” birds (who really just like the readily available birdseed) hung around.
Common Bronzewing — an apparently shy bird!
It’s no secret that getting back to nature refreshes and sustains the human soul. Some folks, like my hubby, don’t appear to crave it. But many, like me, do. Think how many urban dwellers plan to spend their holidays or weekends in rural areas? “Getting away from the city” is a Thing. Most of us seem to simply feel better, after the opportunity to connect with our natural world. There are plenty of articles on the interwebs to explain why this is, from angles ranging from the scientific to the philosophical to the spiritual. All I know for sure, however, is that it nourishes me, revives me — and makes me very nostalgic for the times I’ve lived in the country.
I’m grateful for my time living in the country, but Dohn and I are fortunate now to have the beautiful Swan River at our doorstep, and lovely countryside not too far away. Plus: family! All chicken soup for the soul.
What do you think? Do you crave time out in nature?
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