Today I spent a half-hour break on the foreshore. I sat on the breakwater wall where the river opens out to the sea, and I gave my tired, frazzled mind a rest. I sat and watched the incoming tide gently stroke the barnacle-furred rocks. I watched the slow-motion sideways ballet of the small crabs who make those rocks their home. I watched the hypnotic play of the lowering sun’s light on the smooth, ever-moving surface of the water. Two hours passed (whoops) without me noticing.
Part of my mind chided me for wasting time. Two hours! All of the things I could have done! Empty hours are a rare commodity in my life and I wasted them! Most of me, however, knew it wasn’t a waste. My mind needed a rest, a break from the demands placed on it. My heart needed a rest. My soul needed a rest. Probably even my eyes needed a rest, a chance to drift out of focus and rest on and in beauty. And at the end of that time, I walked up the hill to my rehearsal feeling – well, not refreshed exactly, but a little more peaceful than when I’d started.
So, it turns out that two hours of my life doing nothing in a beautiful place wasn’t a waste of time at all. It was just what I didn’t know I needed.