A dear photographer friend of mine who lives in Australia, but who travels around the world for her work, once gave me some advice on how to beat jetlag: her surefire way of getting over it quickly, she said, was to go outside once she arrives at her destination, and spend some time with her bare feet in the soil.
(I've no idea whether this works or not, but it certainly hasn't stopped me from trying it. When it comes to the outdoors, I'm a firm believer that being in the salt air -- either actually in the ocean, or near enough to feel its breezes and hear its sound -- has curative properties. So, really, who am I to doubt whether the bare-feet-in-soil thing works?)
I was thinking of her advice yesterday (which is sort of random, because I'm not currently experiencing any jetlag), and I wondered if her advice was really something that shouldn't be confined to merely treating jetlag; but rather, it should be something I do daily. After all, I spend many hours sitting at my desk in front of a computer all day long, and Houston summers being what they are (read: brutal), the house is hermetically sealed in air-conditioned and humidity-controlled comfort. Surely, I thought, breathing this recycled air all day can't be good for me. Surely, I mused, I should make a point of going outside every day and spending some time with my bare feet in the soil.
So yesterday evening, around 7 pm (when the outside temperature had dropped from "satanically infernal" to merely "swampy warm"), I grabbed the book I've been studying for an upcoming training class, and a stick of incense and a lighter, and went outside to my back garden. My goal was to immerse myself in the outdoors, inhale the clean, incense-scented air, and enjoy my book for the amount it time it took for the Nag Champa to burn down.
As I settled down, it was glorious. The air actually wasn't even all that swampy. The evening was downright peaceful.
I opened my book.
And then, many, many swarms of mosquitos arrived, and devoured me alive. I didn't even make it through a third of the incense stick before I ran back into the house to take cover. Hermetic, recycled air, be damned.
(It was a good idea while it lasted, though.)
Soundtrack: Summer breeze by Jason Mraz