When I was a child, my parents used to send me to a summer camp every year. For a couple of weeks I was out of the city, in an idyllic countryside that incorporated a pine-covered mountain that was sparsely inhabited, and only had a couple of holiday houses scattered here and there among the pines. The luscious greenery would come down to a point where it used to join a deserted rock-pebbled beach. We used to go there for morning and evening swim in the crystal clear beach among the many activities of the day.
One thing I vividly remember, apart from the strong pine smell and the salty air from the sea at nights when the summer breeze permeated the air, is the sound of cicadas in the afternoon heat and the engine of a distant fishing boat passing by.
During the compulsory afternoon siesta, when it was too hot to be wandering outside, only the cicadas were brave enough to keep on singing. And the fishing boats in the distance.
This was forty plus years ago, in another country, in another life, another era. Strangely enough, eventhough it's such a long time ago, without realising that I would still carry in me these memories or their impact upon my life; I find myself often, prior to falling asleep, when I'm in that semi-awake state, between conscious and asleep, hearing in the background of my mind that distant fishing boat passing by...cutting the waters swiftly, douf douf douf...
This help me relax. It makes me feel it's all ok. I can let go. I can drift into sleep. I'm safe. My breath starts following this imaginary sound of the fishing boat's engine and it puts me in a hypnotic trance.
It's funny how a simple childhood memory of a sound can repeat in our minds years later, even if we are middle-aged.
How do you relax? Is there any particular memory that plays a pivotal role when you're battling with anxiety or depression? Do you remember of a time or a place where you felt safe, happy, cared for, loved? What is it that you hold dear in your heart from your childhood days that has helped you cope during times of strife?