You wake early for another day in the office. Every intention to go for a walk before 6am (when you have to leave) vanishes when the cold, hard truth of the alarm yanks you from a dreamless sleep all too soon. So too, the time for a quick coffee before you jump in the car never quite becomes reality, and before long the train is pulling you out of the station, out of your reverie and heading full speed towards another day of stress. Another day of problems. Another day where the sun on your skin is just a distant memory.
The morning follows this pattern to a T. Email; phone call; tense meeting; email again. A screen is never far from your sight, and you distractedly pull your hair in agitation at the never-ending list of tasks that lies before you.
Until sweet release: lunch break.
Food barely enters your mind before you decide to leave the office and head to the lakes instead.
The sun warms your skin as you walk a fast pace towards your longed-for destination. The summer breeze caresses your skin and the tension begins to disappear from your body as you leave the city and civilisation behind. Deep breaths reveal the sweetness in the air and you notice it is emanating from the flowers that are taking over then path, spilling their sweet scent among the surrounding wilderness. They rustle among the long grasses and overcome all your senses until a new sound reaches your ears. The water is gently lapping at smooth stones on the shore as it has for many years.
A white butterfly flutters closely by and leads you up a winding path, through the shade of tall trees, until the sky opens up once more to reveal a sparkling lake. Shoes and socks are lost immediately and without thought. Unnecessary clothes are discarded with equal urgency, though slightly more attention, knowing you will have to replace them sharpish if somebody should appear.
The first touch of water is warm to your skin, becoming deliciously cold as you continue further into its depths, colder still as you immerse yourself and begin to swim. The cool touch is refreshing after a week among people and technology and the fusty heat that comes with them.
Despite your appreciation the water warms around you as you move, and you fall into a relaxed rhythm as you swim, your mind clearing fast, and a sense of freedom and joy taking over instead.
How long have you been swimming? The pleasing ache within your limbs would suggest your time has long been up, and you must return to the festering heat of your office soon. But in this fleeting moment, this micro-adventure, you hardly care. The day has turned around and no matter what the afternoon will bring, this is a happy day. This is a good day.