I was at that point we reach when other people’s noise filled not only my space, but my head as well. A sure sign that it was time to detox. Get back to the real things. Back to nature and simpler rhythms.
There’s no better way to purge yourself of overfed social media bloat than to go cold turkey. And by cold turkey I mean a lovely cabin with chocolates, a log fire, champagne, soft robes, and a spa bath.
Yikes, you say, what happened to the nature part? But you see I found a spa bath where I could prunify listening to birdsong while gazing at passing clouds and scandalise only the odd passing butterfly.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s still nothing quite like getting that wood smoke flavour through your plaid flannel shirt, while you use those attachments on your folding pocket knife obviously designed by Bear Grylls’s forefather in the Swiss army.
However on this occasion I had two reasons to go soft. Firstly it was on my bucket list—bucket items don’t have to be unattainable or even particularly good cardio—but more importantly it was a chance to have some one- to-one only-child time with my daughter.
A big pizza pie
I was a bit self-conscious when we checked in to our little slice of rainforest in suburbia at the base of Buderim mountain. These little cabins were marketed as romantic couples retreats, so I felt just the smallest bit fraudulent.
But our hosts, Michael and Silvano, assured me that they get a lot of mother-daughter weekenders. And why not? When I thought about it, sure it’s nice to get away with your romantic other, but there’s only so many smelly bath bombs and chocolate hearts a man can take.
When I asked them what had made them start up a business like this they simply said they “Can’t believe how stressed out people are.”
Amore is Italian for love or great affection, like the song says “Like a big pizza pie, that’s amore”. This place is about reconnecting and letting couples have uncomplicated couple time.
My hosts said sometimes the change in people in just a day is amazing, and the laid back atmosphere does start its work as soon as you drive in the gates. And before you start to hyperventilate, they do have mobile phone coverage, and TV, and are 30 minutes from the beach.
Windsong and bellbirds
So did we reconnect? Maybe. There was something comfortingly cosy about the fire at night and we both talked or didn’t.
It wasn’t just the luxury though, although I’m sure it helped. There was time for conversation, time to draw, time to write, time to think and dream. My rational mind knew it was an illusion and I could be walking down a mowed lawn in under five minutes.
But as I sat on the little deck, listening to a dialogue of windsong and bellbirds, the forest spoke of important things – of breath, of love, of the passing of time. Two wallabies paused in the gully and assessed my threat.
I thought about things that are, and things that were, and things that are yet to be. I looked at my daughter and thought about the future that she was yet to become. The forest whispered, all things have their time. We need to be mindful of where we are, and notice the minutes as we walk our walk with our loved ones. Maybe we reconnected in ways we didn’t expect.
Hello you, hello me
If you’re still demand feeding your social media or you’ve taken on so many roles you may as well be a bakery – it might just be time to stop.
At least for the time it takes to unwind that little golf ball of stress that’s threatening to snap in the face of your nearest and dearest. Maybe it’s time to reconnect with someone special. Maybe even yourself.