A Break From Reality

alligator in the waterI’ve spent my lunch breaks this week walking around the lake next to the office. It’s full of turtles, fish and the occasional alligator, and it’s a wonderful break from reality.

The trail, paved with wooden decking and edged in waist-high railing, is nearly a mile long, and as I neared the end, I chose to sit on one of the green metal benches just off the beaten path.

Today, I took a book along, and I was a bit sad that it was on my Kindle. I wanted a good ol’ fashioned paperback as I sat among the wildflowers and palm trees.

But it was just so much faster to instantly download “A Walk in the Woods” than it would have been to order it or, god forbid, actually go to a bookstore. To be fair, I wanted the book on Sunday, and the bookstore was closed.

I haven’t been reading much lately. Everyday life keeps getting in the way. But I realized how much I miss it. I like falling into a book, getting completely absorbed in it. I laugh and cry along with the characters who have become my temporary imaginary friends.

Every book I read becomes part of me. Each one changes how I feel, how I write and how I react. Often, I will enter that book world in my dreams, and not want to wake up. Other times, I will dream what I’m reading so much that I’ll have to stop reading that book for a while. That happened most recently with a book on D-Day.

As I was reading today, I was aware that several people walked past, but I remained invisible, hidden inside that book. I giggled when my new friends said something particularly funny, and I smiled as they accomplished a new difficult task.

But then reality returned, as it inevitably does. I had to turn off my Kindle (though I longed to just close the book), and I had to return to work.

Tomorrow, I will visit my friends again, and walk along the Appalachian Trail with them. Leaving reality for a while is sometimes the best thing to help you get through it, whether it’s taking a walk or just reading about it.

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