Part of the magic of St. Augustine for me–just one part–has always been its mysterious ability to make me feel refreshed and alive again. I didn’t quite know why, I just observed that it did, and that was part of why we keep going back, even talk of moving there or nearby. It has to do at least in part with the rich history. An environment of relaxation helps, too. But I think I realized today why it might be so therapeutic. I’m also becoming more of a naturalist. We just drove through the Smoky Mountains and got to see not only incredible vistas, infinite foliage, exotic mushrooms, cabins from the 1830s (still there), but animals in the wild as well. I plan to do more National Park hopping, as soon as humanly possible.
But the effect the mountains capes had on me was akin to contemplating the ocean. I thought both must be so therapeutic for the perception of space, distance, the expanse. I’m a star-gazer, too. Then it hit me with St. Augustine and other historical sites–the expanse in time must have a similar effect as expanses in space. It might be as simple as the old trick in solving a problem–to contemplate problems similar in size and larger ones, making your seem very surmountable.
In any case, looking at nature and history make me feel good. I might be a little closer to having an idea as to why.
How it all fits with this blog is in thinking about it, and I’ve never seriously blogged before, I realized this blog should be more about appreciating history and other matters I might write about, rather than another how-to site for writers. That area I can discuss on my other site, www.RodneyMiles.com, which is about writing and publishing books.
The other therapeutic factor, if you ask me, is discovering prior cause. I remember in grade school, the prettiest girl in school broke up with me and she cried. I just wanted to understand why (yet I’m not a cyborg!). I finally did–I was coming on too strong, at least for an eighth grader. I was doing things that would make a working girl float, like interrupting cheerleading practice to give her roses, but at 12, that’s a bit much. But I understood! And I learned from it, and of course, I missed having her as a girlfriend, too.
So when we see the coquina walls all over the Oldest City, when we see the clouds ring the mountains below their peaks, when we happen upon a clear, starry night, and when we finally find out how Perry got that patch on his eye he has always worn, we get a little closer to prior cause, a little closer to truth, a little more understanding of the world around us, and it feels good.
And maybe we at least feel like we understand ourselves a little better in the process, too. I certainly do as I find things that light me up, proving either 48 is the new 30, or we really are here to experience, learn, and develop.
What rejuvenates you?