When I used to think of paradise it always conjured pictures of palm trees and beautiful beaches which create a great escape and sense of well-being. Since I can’t always afford (time wise or financially) to zip off to a Caribbean beach every time I feel stressed, I have started looking for more a practical way of creating paradise. The definition of paradise is a place or state of bliss, felicity, or delight. With such a broad and beautiful definition, a paradise can be just about anywhere you want it to be as long as it creates a sense of personal delight it meets the requirements of paradise. My idea of paradise is any place that allows me to slow down, spend time in nature, and enjoy fresh food. I realized that one of my personal paradises is spending time at my (great) aunt’s house! It is only a few hours away which is ideal to get away a few times per year. It is located on several acres of our family land in the South. It is in the country. Time is slower there and it is so peaceful and quiet. I relax the moment I drive onto the compound. I know my cell doesn’t get a signal and secretly that makes me happy. My life takes on a different pace and it is wonderful.
I love going there because I feel connected to my father’s side of my family. My aunt, grandmother, and their siblings grew up farming on the land and there are peach trees and blueberry bushes planted by family members who are no longer here. My aunt still has a small garden every year. A small garden to her is a huge garden to me! Every time I go there I learn something about food and gardening! I learn about growing cycles and the weather, the best time to plant and pick vegetables and herbs and how to store and preserve our yields. It brings me delight to see food growing everywhere - peaches, apples, turnips, kale, basil, rosemary, parsley, dill, tomatoes, cabbage, peppers (hot and sweet), and so much more.
I love being able to walk around the yard. I love picking all the fruits and vegetables and bringing them in to make breakfast or dinner. There is something meditative to me about picking blueberries or tomatoes early in the morning. The air seems fresher and I can wander around the property or down the dirt road seeing the horses or the cows next door. My mind seems clearer, creative, and open to new ideas. Finally I love the feeling of warmth surrounding me from my aunt and cousins. I feel it with every conversation in the yard or at the dinner table.
I definitely live in a state of felicity whenever I spend time at my aunt's house. It is paradise for me!
Where are your personal paradises? How often do you get away to them?
Dr. Daemon Jones
[box] Dr. Dae maintains a private practice and see patients as a naturopathic physician. If you are interested in becoming a patient, know that Dr Dae also offers services via Skype and through phone consultations. Her office phone is 202-248-1907 or email her with questions drdae@ healthydaes.org[/box]