On the whole, we are social people, members of families within communities. We depend on one another for the services we give, voluntarily and through the work we do. In these roles we can become stressed and tired; hence, for recuperation we require time to ourselves, time for relaxing and time for healing. If we don’t take time out, something will give; our bodies will succumb to illness, or we may suffer mentally; perhaps with depression or anxiety, and we find we cannot cope.
As humans we require balanced lives. ‘All work and no play make Jack a dull boy,’ so the saying goes. Therefore a satisfying hobby or activity that provides a distraction from, or a bonus to, humdrum or taxing lives is beneficial to us.
Complementary to my working life and to my family life, I have found the activities of sailing, building and renovating small boats abundantly rewarding. In retirement they have increased in importance by helping me occupy my time creatively. I have been stimulated, challenged and tested by them.
In recent days I have experienced a shock to the system, because the structure they provided appears to have collapsed. For years I have played around with boats. They have occupied my thoughts and my time, and for reasons I find hard to explain, all of a sudden they are of little significance.
I find myself grasping the air in the hope that I can get back my interest and enthusiasm, and for things to return to normal. This afternoon with that hope in mind, I took a walk beside the River Crouch at my favourite location, South Fambridge. My time there was ‘quality’ time. There were loads of Large White butterflies flitting over the grassy banks. A solitary Painted Lady joined their dance. A pair of Shelducks shuffled towards the water’s edge where a hundred or so Dunlins were feeding on the shelving mudflat at low tide.
There was hardly a breath of wind, and the sun pulsed beams of warming light between fluffy white clouds defining and contrasting their cooling shadows. No other person shared these moving scenes, save the God who formed me in my mother’s womb.