Mother Nature’s message to the stressed out


Jill Rohrbach, travel writer
Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

After fishing for two days, eating great food, socializing with friends, hiking, and enjoying my roomy two-bedroom cottage at Gaston’s White River Resort in Lakeview, it was time to head home. I was spending the last couple of hours trying to write an article in the inspiring setting from a picnic table on the bank of the river. I was also stalling the start of my drive home. As one of my fishing partners that week put it, “It’s like being at summer camp and never wanting to leave.”

I closed my laptop and gazed out at the White River flowing by in front of me. Ducks landed. A blue heron flew by. Two kayakers in bright yellow boats floated downstream. A johnboat carrying a guide and two anglers motored upstream in search of trout.

Lakeview_Gaston's_cottageMy mind began to spin with thoughts of the work I need to accomplish, family needs, and all those other pressures the brain is good at throwing at you all at once. I felt the stress rising. Then I turned my attention from inside my head to the scene in front of me.

Lakeview_Gaston's_dessert_creme_bruleeI took a deep breath as I watched the river sparking in the sunlight and felt the breeze on my face. “Be at peace,” I thought. “Don’t make things so hard. Just live life.” It was such a simple message that this magical place was sending me.

Packing up my fishing rod and other belongings, I headed home. When I saw a good-sized puddle on a dirt road where the highway crosses Crooked Creek, I whipped my Jeep onto it for a nice splash and spray of mud. I climbed a steep hill, and found heavy wet ruts that required four-wheel drive. I wasn’t there long, but long enough.

Lakeview_Gaston's_dinnerI grinned all the way back home. Now, here I am at my desk with all the normal daily pressures of life and work upon me once again. But now when I feel that stress, I take a deep breath and see and hear the White River feeding my soul.

Writing feels great today. I am living life and appreciating all it has to offer.

Now go find your outdoor magic. Be at peace. Enjoy life – work and play.

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