After being in a rut for years, I felt it was important to regain #theartofawakeningmysenses. It is so easy to get caught up in the day to day rituals, things that you absolutely feel have to be done, that one forgets to actually enjoy living a full and fruitful life.
Realizing that It takes a while to rid oneself of the mundane sights, sounds, smells, tastes and even touch (which is so rare) extreme measures had to be taken, and take them I did.
Recently I decided to take a trip down memory lane to see how many of my senses I could wake up. It seemed as though they had been in limbo for years and needed a good amount of activity to wake them up. A great deal of thought went into exactly how I could achieve this.
After discussion with friends and family I decided that yes, I would set out on my road of discovery.
I wanted also to find a sense of purpose for my life going forward, which indeed I did.
DISCOVERING MY SENSE OF SIGHT
Do you know that we perceive up to 80per cent of all impressions by means of our eyesight? We are so busy every day that we take it for granted and stop being awed by what is around us.
Taking delight in the beautiful scenery along the way and knowing that there was still so much to see was absolutely thrilling. It made me want to put my foot down on the accelerator and just keep driving and not care where I ended up. But, I could not do that, as I did have a plan.
The plan was to revisit old haunts that had given me great joy in the past. Not only old haunts but seeking out people who had touched me with the gift of friendship.
How often do we take pleasure in just sitting quietly and looking at the beauty in nature? The waves rushing endlessly onto the shore and receding with the wonderfully soothing repetition that is so calming.
The sight of a row of trees, with colors so stunning and unexpected, can be breathtaking, if we bother to stop and take it all in.
Watching an Artist create a painting, from plain canvas to finished artwork. Seeing the paint flow with the quick strokes of his brush was so inspiring. It all seemed so effortless but I know from experience just how many strokes it must have taken over the years to give him the confidence in his work. All done with joyful abandon which to me is how art should be.
THE AMAZING SENSE OF SOUND
My late Mother-in-law, who was extremely hard of hearing used to say that it was by far the worst affliction as it was so lonely. She could see people speaking but felt totally left out of conversations. How sad. And how true. So few people have the patience to keep repeating something so that the deaf may hear.
When my late Dad had an operation on his ear to help his hearing, he could not get over the horrific noise in the ward and it all seemed so quiet to us. When he described the noise to us, we realized what he heard was the ceiling fan for the first time.
We had taken it for granted that he could hear that, little realizing how bad his hearing was.
What fun to come across two happy people selling prickly pears who were so excited when we bought a couple of bags from them. They were absolutely delicious too.
They danced and clapped and were genuinely thrilled that we had bothered to stop and buy their wares. It takes so little to bring a little cheer to others and hearing their excitement, certainly bought a smile to my lips and joy to my heart.
The lovely sound of birds calls must be one of the most cheerful sounds to hear especially early in the morning when it is quiet before the sound heavy traffic drowns it out in the cities.
HOW AWFUL IT MUST BE NOT TO BE ABLE TO SMELL (YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN)
We have all heard the expression, “stop and smell the roses” but do we take the time to do that without feeling guilty?
There are varieties of roses that have a wonderful fragrance, double delight, is just one that springs to mind but I am sure you know of many others, as do I.
When I planted up a large rose bed, each rose I bought at the nursery was chosen, by me, for the fragrance before any other reason.
The aroma of chicken roasting, curry being cooked, wet ground after the rains, grass being mown, vanilla essence, perfumes, and naturally roses.
So many things that smell so good and that remind you of good times, childhood memories of mother’s cooking. Splashing in puddles after the rain.
So many people are either wheat or gluten intolerant and it must be purgatory for them to smell bread toasting and know that they may not have any.
What Jewish people must suffer when they smell bacon frying, realizing it is a no, no for them.
Although this is a picture of my husband in his healthier days, he hasn’t had a sense of smell for years and it is such a shame
. Fancy standing under an arbor of roses and being surrounded by roses and not being able to smell them.
It is not the drone of a lawnmower that moves one to look out of the window, but the heady aroma of freshly mown grass.
So many wonderful herbs and spices have calming effects on the senses due to their scent.
A couple of drops on lavender on the pillow at night will aid sleep and is so much cheaper and safer than sleeping pills.
I was blessed with a lovely spray bottle of organic lemon tea tree infused spray, given me by my dear friend Annemarie of Emerald Acres. I carefully packed it in between some soft clothing in the suitcase before leaving Durban to fly home.
Alas and alack, when I opened the suitcase, it was full of heavenly and heavily scented wet clothing which had to be washed. The entire bottle had leaked into everything.
WHAT IT MEANS TO LOSE THE SENSE OF TASTE
The beastly lurgy has me in it is grips since getting back from my travels, which means that however good the food looks, it tastes of nothing at all.
That is so sad as the family was hoping to take me out to a very special Birthday meal and we had to call it off as I was too ill and also I don’t feel like eating. Tomorrow the Namibian family are returning to Windhoek so we all lost out on getting together.
The food we waited for at this semi-outdoor Restaurant in Knysna, was well worth waiting for. The whole setting and ambiance of the Restaurant are very special and I would highly recommend it.
The Waiter was attentive and friendly and we all enjoyed our meal out. I would go back there in a heartbeat, especially enjoyed it all being with such close and dear friends.
There is something so special in celebrating with loved ones over a meal. Somehow or other, the food always tastes better when everyone is having a good time.
Having had my late parents living with me for many years, it was interesting to note how their taste buds changed over the years.
Both Mum and Dad, as they aged, developed a very sweet tooth. I wonder if all old people do?
Take time to revel in each other’s company while enjoying a meal together. Perhaps, we too, one day won’t enjoy the foods we do now.
While we still have our senses intact, it would be a waste and a shame not to use every single one of them to the fullest.
TOUCH – AN IMPORTANT SENSE AND SO OFTEN NEGLECTED
To me, nothing is better than the loving touch of someone you love and who loves you. It is so precious and rare and should be truly valued and reciprocated.
Walking hand in hand with your child or grandchild or the person you love. These are times to treasure.
I know that when I go over to the Frail Care to visit my husband, although he cannot remember who I am, it is important just to hold his hand and reassure him that someone who cares for him is close by.
So many of the people there don’t see their family at all which to me is very sad. Perhaps they live too far away to visit.
When my little grandson Benjamin visits, he takes whatever Lego he has just made over to the frail care to show all the old people and they absolutely love it. Just for someone to touch them in some way is so important to them.
Over Easter, he took a basket of Easter Eggs to give out to all the old and mostly sick people. Also, to the nurses and they were all so grateful.
CHECK OUT THE STATE OF YOUR SENSES
Perhaps, like me, you have neglected to keep your senses honed. Do yourselves a huge favor and do what I did, practice the art of awakening your senses.
It is so easy to become immune to the beauty that surrounds us. We make all kinds of excuses –
Too busy – are you so important that you can’t take a break?
Lots to do – is the ironing, dusting, whatever, so important?
Wait until another day – what if that day doesn’t come?
My darling Dad used to say, don’t leave for tomorrow, what you can do today.
Have you spent time with your spouse, loved one, child or grandchild. I mean, really spent time. Listened to what they are telling you?
Have you noticed how quickly they are growing or that they are no longer telling you things? Perhaps they think you are not really interested or are too busy.
What a privilege and great pleasure it was for me to take time to hone #theartofawakeningmysenses once more.