Resident dreamer Ruby knows that you don’t always need a crew of mates to have a beautiful day. This immersive ode to the mental health day and solo times outdoors fills us with happiness. Don’t you deserve some self-love?
Wake before the sun. Rise on the first alarm.
Dip your toes in the morning light dancing on the back veranda. Breathe slowly.
Grab yourself a piece of fruit from the regularly neglected bowl on the dining table and sit in the kitchen in your dressing gown and let the juice from your apple make your face sticky.
Have a shower. Sit down if you like. Lean against the shower wall and close your eyes and try to think about nothing. Play your favourite playlist on Spotify and dance in the shower because it’s not even 7am yet and you are awake.
Let your butt jiggle.
Get dressed and comb your hair and pour yourself a tea. Don’t pull out your phone. Read a newspaper, or read words that aren’t on a screen – a book, a magazine, the back of a cereal box.
Pull on your shorts and your comfy tee and your favourite socks with the sushi printed all over them. Dress for adventure.
Pack a backpack of iced vovos and neenish tarts and apples and blueberries. Pack a book and a notepad and some pens and maybe some coloured pencils too. Slip in your camera. Put your phone on airplane mode and make a promise you will only use it in emergencies. Don’t forget a bottle of water and some patterned bandaids.
Get in your car and wrench your hat from under the passenger seat. It’s probably stuck around the lid of one of the many empty drink bottles shoved under there. Put it on and look in the rear-view mirror with determination.
Escape the rat race. Listen to music that makes you feel warm.
Drive to the place you’ve always wanted to go but haven’t because you’re too impatient to wait for people to be interested in plans.
In the words of Jónsi, ‘Go do’.
Go the speed limit. Don’t rush. Wave in thanks to everyone who lets you merge into their lane.
Park your car and plant your feet on the soil. Start walking.
Listen to the birds. We don’t allow ourselves to hear their song very often.
Walk and walk and walk. Break out into a run if you’re feeling it.
Sit down for a while and write everything you see in your spiral-bound notebook. Do the tree trunks remind you of elephant skin too?
Take off your shoes and walk the rest of the way barefoot. Let the mud slip between your toes.
When you get there, strip down and slip into the water. Dive in naked if you can. Tim Winton once wrote, ‘isn’t is beautiful how the water allows you to swim through it?’. Remember that.
Sit under the waterfall for a while and think about nothing but the litres of water rushing over your body.
Scramble out onto the banks of the stream and let the sun dry your body.
Read your book for a while. Let the animals get comfortable with your presence.
Lick the icing off the vovos and eat the biscuit last.
Get rid of the haste of modern existence. Get comfortable being alone.
Walk back to the car.
Play louder music on the drive home. Play music that makes you want to smile, or laugh. Listen to Ida Maria’s ‘I Like You So Much Better When You’re Naked’. Smile at the drivers who stop next to you at the traffic lights.
Unlock your front door and take a deep breath in.
Peel off your clothes and run yourself a hot bath and watch the dirt dissolve from your body. Make sure you have candles or a bath bomb or something nice smelling.
Sink beneath the surface and let your hair weave itself through your fingers and the bathwater. Scrub your body so that when you climb out of the shower, it’s as if the air is meeting your skin for the first time.
Make yourself a tea and sit in your favourite place in the house. On the floor under the rotting windowsill, in the couch by the fireplace, on the kitchen bench. Order takeaway food. Ask the restaurant to draw a picture or write a poem in the special requests box.
Eat ice-cream from the container.
Curl into bed under the doona and read until you can’t keep your eyes open any longer. Fall asleep knowing you woke with the sun and you will sleep with her too. Know that you made your day beautiful.
Feel beautiful because of it.