I want to be in Cuba lying on fine white sand, sun in my face and the turquoise water sprawled before me. Instead, I’m sitting on a park bench. Sure the warm wind playfully tossing my hair around (occasionally blowing strands in my face and obstructing my vision), the chubby bumble bee gleefully buzzing around me (because I’m not deathly afraid of them or anything) and the peaceful stillness allowing me to hear the calming chorus of leaves rustling together (because hardly anyone comes to this park) is all very soothing. However, with every plane that zooms overhead I’m reminded that I’m flat broke and doomed to repeat my everlasting routine until I save enough money to get out of here (which I don’t know how to do because I’ll walk into any store and buy what I like, like what I see).
As I contemplate my miserable existence and shudder at the thought of those three consecutive upcoming closing shifts, I suddenly notice the sky has changed. The sunset has painted the sky a purple, pinkish with a wisp of white clouds. I look up and all I can see are leafy, vivid green branches reaching over me, as if protecting me from the sky. A fly has glued itself to the page of my notepad and is carefully eyeing me. I just had an Oscar Wilde moment…
I can’t help feeling sad for this natural habitat. I’m sure it didn’t ask to be deemed a park and become stuck in the middle of a residential neighbourhood having dogs poop all over it, obnoxious children ripping out its grass by the roots and getting sprayed with car fumes. It’s completely taken for granted. True the maple trees are no palm trees, the lake is no ocean and the stars are severely lacking, but there is beauty here too. You just have to be willing to see it and embrace it. At the end of the day every sunset, sunrise and full moon is stunning regardless of the window-sill you happen to be perched on and leaning out of.
I take a deep breath and realize how relaxed and superbly content I feel. The perfect stay-cation…and it cost nothing.
“He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.” – Socrates