A few weeks ago I ran away from home. It was a full blown hissy fit. I was mad about life in general and I had quite enough. More specifically, it was a lawn mower inspired temper tantrum. A lying in the middle of the floor, face beet red, feet kicking, fists pounding fit. Now, I’m a full grown home owner with a day job where people actually trust me to be responsible, but I fully defend, and recommend, my actions. Well, the running away part anyway. I’m a little ashamed of the home owner part.
I had been blissfully tucked into my super cozy warm blankets. That perfect time of year where I wake up in a nest of warmth, buried in my duvet and gently ease my way into the frantic pace of my life. Suddenly my house started to shake. I thought the swat team had arrived to drag me out of my bliss-bubble and drag me to the office. Tanks, helicopters, and fierce-looking armoured vehicles. Alas, I was mistaken. My neighbour was merely having their lawn mowed. Their teeny patch of a backyard was being manicured by some giant industrial machine clearly meant for football fields. Did I mention it was 8am? In my defense, when you have no children and flexible hours, 8am is bloody early.
The following day, I enjoyed lunch at a friend’s place. He has a gorgeous backyard, lush gardens spilling over with pinks, purples and butterflies. One of these days I fear he will find me basking back there as it’s as close to paradise as you can get in the burbs. He prepared a delicious spread of crab cakes, fresh corn, salads and other yumminess. The perfect day to sit in the sun with a friend and catch up… and holler across the table at the top of our lungs. Apparently, our neighbours use the same lawn care company. We could barely hear each other as we screamed back and forth over our plates.
The very next day, weary of all the lawn care action, my head pounded. I craved my cozy blankets, and even cozier codeine infused meds. I came home, collapsed into bed and closed my eyes. And they found me once more. A myriad of lawnmowers and whipper snippers (what are those things called?) in full concert. There was simply no escaping it.
I had enough.
I also had an invitation – a small family gathering in Belleville on Sunday. It’s not far from here, an easy day trip. This was Friday, and given my fragile sanity, Sunday was simply too far away. So I did what all of us do when we need an answer to life’s little problems – I rubbed the Google genie. “Campgrounds near Belleville.” Within minutes I was chatting on the phone with an angel. “Yes, we have one site left. You have to paddle to it. It’s very small, remote and you’ll be all alone. There are no motors on this lake.” I literally swooned, and immediately booked it. And then thought it might be prudent to look up where I had settled on living for the next couple of days. Turns out, ‘near Belleville’ is a relative term. I was quite the opposite direction, and would add on a few extra hours of driving. I’m starting to understand why people think I’m impulsive. Or foolish.
It’s amazing how a change of scenery can offer a change of attitude. Hours later I sat in the middle of a silent lake. The only sound to be heard was the gentle trickle of water falling off my paddle. Ducks glided by while dragonflies practiced their aerial stunts just for me. As I crossed the lake in silence I could feel my stress melting away in the wake of my kayak. Absolute perfection only a few hours from home.
I returned home late on Sunday fully replenished. It was a short escape. When I ran off, I had left a giant heap of laundry, the compost bin was funky, the sink needed a good scrub and the cat had left her fur everywhere. Not to mention my completely unruly jungle lawn. There were far more responsible things I should have spent my time on. Instead, I opted to take care of myself.
Travel can be like that, near or far, it’s a treat – and a retreat. We often forget that we need to not only look after our lawns, but also our sanity. So next time you find your marbles getting away from you, feel free to give a giant “screw you!” to all that ties you to the responsible version of yourself, and get the hell out of here. You can mow your lawn later.
Have you ever run away from home?
Some details so you can plan your next escape: I went to Second Depot Lake – somewhere northwest of Kingston. Campsite #4. My campsite was just shy of $30, though I would have paid double, the state I was in. The folks there are as good as any therapist – they show you how to get to your sanatorium and leave you be. While the lake was almost silent, there were in fact motorized boats allowed, but by then I was so blissed out I didn’t care. There were only a few. Maybe they needed to get away too.