In general, Albania is a very spiky place. Because of rampant deforestation and overgrazing, just about the only plants left on the hillsides are those that don’t lend themselves to being munched on. As I’ve said many times before, this by no means means that the hills are not great places for a jaunt or two – in fact the lack of large plants (trees), lack of property rights and prevalence of sheep/shepherd paths means that, for the most part, you can pick a point on the horizon and walk there. Also – in between the spikes there are generally plenty of sagebrush, wild thyme and oregano that make wandering on the hillsides a fairly fragrant experience.
So – it’s been a while since I went for a good hike. And lately I’ve really been feeling the advent of rain and lack of daylight in that I usually don’t have time for the usual afternoon run…and I’m busier than I have yet been with work and feel like I need that run/outside time to feel sane. I also am a bit susceptible to SAD – seasonal affective disorder.
This weekend I had a little too much time to myself, which usually leads to a bit of the murky mix of homesickness/frustration/loneliness floating to the surface of my brain. I woke up this morning feeling a little out of sorts, especially since I lately have been having weird dreams about my bicycle…which I think means that I need to either break down and buy a bike OR get outside more. The day today was gorgeous, the first beautiful sun in a while, so I plugged in my headphones and set off for the hill behind my house to soak up some rays and read outside for a bit. I sometimes forget how fast I can be up with the sheep with a view of the city and the ocean, above the rebar and the staring çuns and the trash fires…above the honking and flooding and all of the noise.
After a few hours and a nap on a rock I felt a little less spiky….and am so thankful to live in the place that I do. I just have to make sure I take advantage of the sun when its around…and keep looking for that (re)fresh[-ing] perspective.