Seeing the Milky Way stretch across the sky on a clear, starry night here in Colorado……..that was our goal.
My teenaged daughter and I camped out at the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in Colorado this past June, and enjoyed sitting outside our tent to stare up at the sky and enjoy the quiet…………..no commercialization for miles to pollute the night sky………….no pinging of the cell phone to interrupt our thoughts. That kind of quiet beauty can become instantly addictive.
So addictive in fact, that we continued our quest to stare at the Milky Way later on this past August, when she and her father and I went to Music Meadows Ranch in Westcliffe, Colorado for a few nights. Westcliffe is one of only two designated “dark towns” in Colorado, where an unadulterated night sky literally packed with stars is a treasured commodity among residents and visitors alike.
We brought my daughter’s telescope to use, but the stars were already so “in our face” that all we had to do was lie on a blanket on the ground and stare upwards. Amazed at how many stars we could see as compared with the night sky’s appearance at home, we chatted excitedly for a bit before settling down to relax and “just be”. The milky white band of stars was so mesmerizing that practicing deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation automatically took over. Our nighttime reverie was interrupted only by nearby coyote howls and increasing cold, so we went inside with our memories and enjoyed hot chocolate before settling in for a rejuvenating night’s sleep punctuated by mountain breezes blowing through the open windows.
I encourage you to plan ahead for a periodic relaxing personal or family retreat to make memories to draw upon when you are having a busy, challenging day. It does not have to involve much cost or even a long period of time……you can pack your own picnic and go to a local park or even your own back yard, and lie on a blanket in the early evening and listen to nature. You can get out of bed a few minutes earlier than usual, and enjoy your hot coffee or tea to the sounds of some classical music you downloaded onto your cellphone. You can even plan a long hot tub bath to stare at your toes. I guarantee you there is nothing like being able to pull out a relaxing memory, to help calm down your nervous system. You will probably feel your pulse and breathing slow down to a more relaxing rhythm, as you mentally return to a time with a slower pace.
It usually won’t happen unless you plan it, though…….not to say that some things don’t happen spontaneously. So go ahead now and show love to yourself, and plan your wellness time. If you want to share here on my blog how things went for you, that would be awesome! I can’t wait to hear how it goes!