It was a familiar, though unwelcome, feeling. There were things she couldn’t fix. Too many things. Challenges without recourse. Problems without solutions. Insidiously, the depression crept in. Numbing of emotion. Flat-lining of feeling. No dreams, no desire for anything.
Instinctively she retreated to the beauty of nature – a long hike in the wilderness. The remedy learned with the wisdom of years.
It was wiltingly hot when she locked the car and started out, but she was headed for a shady glen. A sandy trail led into a canyon, crisscrossed a gurgling stream. Moss-covered rocks lay calm and green in the water. Up ahead sandstone mountains sported a variety of coniferous vegetation and a burst of blue sky.
Each step was refreshment. Return of vigor of thought. Hope for the future.
Typically she could judge distance by the state of her emotions. It usually took about a mile for the tension to begin to loosen- sometimes two.
About a mile and a half out she turned. The afternoon was waning. Finding the end of the canyon would have to wait for another time. Then, just like clockwork, her appetite returned. Appetite – the signal of lifting depression. This time she craved crème brûlée or custard or flan. She hungered. But not for egg rolls – her usual fantasy food.
“How odd,” she thought, “right out here in the wild and I can almost smell dessert cooking, wafting warm and sweet from the kitchen.”
It was then she realized she was striding through a stand of ponderosa pine, inhaling great gulps of air two feet away from thick sun-warmed trunks. And ponderosa are known by their faint vanilla scent.
Dream on, Happy Wanderer. And may all your desires and appetites be healthful.