I have always thought of myself a city girl. I love the conveniences, the bright lights (well, as bright as my hometown can get anyway) and the ability to get to places as quickly as I would like to. But lately the country has been calling to me. The solitude, the fresh air- oh and the quiet.
Have I mentioned the quiet?
Away from the tuktuk noises. The irritating mobile phone ringtones. The terrible traffic jams. The always arguing neighbors. The honking of car horns and masses of people. An introvert like me finds it emotionally draining and a zapping of my physical energy.
A Change of Heart
My batteries need recharging and my phone needs throwing out. The shop windows, the fast food joints and our trendy malls? Not a fan anymore.
I want the quiet of the sticks, to breathe in deeply; and to use a tired cliche- fresh air. I want to hear the birds sing, to awaken to the crowing of the cocks. Not by the screeching of alarm clocks or matatu touts calling for passengers. I want to see trees and cows and little insects running up and down logs as I go for my morning walk- not exhausted school children with bags bigger than themselves. Children half asleep in the semi dark waiting for school buses to pick them up.
I want to sit under a tree sipping my tea as the branches fan my face. Dark ought to be dark, I believe,- not punctured with pin points of blue lights from mobile phones, LED bulbs and High Definition Television.
I used to feel sure that my eyes would feel violated after beholding so much green of the countryside.
Thinking myself a true city girl, I had believed I would quickly tire of the quiet that is thick enough to pierce the ears.
I thought wrong. The city lights bore me stiff these days. Especially since, for a long time now, my idea of fun is a good book and thick creamy tea.
I am all about living with less so shopping online or in person does not really excite me anymore. Introverts like me thrive in solitude, where silence is a given, away from all the noise.
Always Bad News
So now I find myself in this bustling Coastal city where I was born and raised wishing I could be somewhere totally off grid.
JD and kids gasp at the idea of no internet. I, on the other hand, relish it. Oh what fun it would be and how refreshing it would be to be cut off completely, even for a few short days!
You will not have to hear all the bad news and mass hysteria that the internet is famous for. To illustrate my point, I recently typed into my search engine “everything is going right”.
The internet seemed shocked that anyone would actually put that particular phrase in. Or that anyone could genuinely say it. After giving me links to old music videos this is what I got:
“11 Quotes to Remember when Everything is going Wrong.”
” When Everything Is Going Right, Be Thinking About Where Things Can Go Wrong (what?!) and:
“A Letter For Your Soul When Nothing Seems To Be Going Right.” I rest my case.
People tell me I am an old soul and quite boring with these glaringly non-21st century thoughts- but I don’t mind. I cannot stop listening to what my heart and increasingly my brain is saying.
The quiet and stillness of the countryside, away from the madness and the rat race is no doubt a soothing balm to my spirit. What better way to get in touch with your essence than in nature? There is something so invigorating about trees and birdsong and freshly dug earth that releases all tension and worry from one’s body.
To watch sunrises and sunsets unobstructed by skyscrapers and artificial sounds? Just writing about it puts a big grin on my face 🙂
I don’t know of anyone who would not benefit from stillness and quiet. Buy hey! to each his own.
For now ‘mashambani’ is calling and I cannot wait to pack my bags.
I am a mother of three, born and bred in Mombasa, Kenya. I am passionate about books, writing, healthy living and getting people to see the best of themselves. Especially getting people to see the best of themselves.