For some reason, the ‘spa day’ never really captured me – a good thing considering my ‘spa day’ budget is currently non-existent. However, I am realising that its effects – the feel good factor, the relaxation and the rejuvenation are free and abundant in our beautiful Spring-kissed countryside. My equivalent of a spa treatment goes something like this… I stroll down an abandoned boreen breathing deeply the Atlantic infused, west of Ireland air. This particular boreen has grass growing on the road so each step I take is padded as my feet meet the soft earth. The boreen begins with bog on each side of the road. It’s flat and open everywhere I look and I find my mental clutter falling away. A sense of openness manifests within me, mirroring the unobstructed landscape around me. Soon there is a narrow bridge over a narrow stream and I stop to look, and feel the cool air rising from the water. From here, the boreen winds through a more forested section where everything – the trees and the stone walls – on either side are covered in a thick blanket of moss. Little white flowers, that remain nameless to me, poke up through the moss. I remind myself of how lucky I am in this moment. I find a random sitting spot and with my rain jacket between me and the damp earth, nature surrounds me making it almost impossible to think of anything else. I focus on the bird songs – so loud when you stop and listen; so many songs and calls. I look up at the tree branches touching the sky. I observe the clouds – their shapes, colours and movements. I follow the tree branches back down to the tree trunk and into the earth. Soon, I proceed on my stroll and I think that there is nothing quite like the ‘new green’ of Spring – it’s a brand new colour pushing through the greys and browns of winter. The walk, though not particularly long, winds through forest and bog. When it’s almost over, I locate my favourite sitting rock at the top of a small hill. I climb up. It’s bog beneath and little pink flowers are dotted about. I sit on the rock and take it all in – a 360 degree vista of greens, blues, brown, beiges, purples, trees, fields, big sky, grass, heather, hills and mountain. Every day is a new day up here – the sky and the presence or absence of the sun can colour the landscape in varying shades from one minute to the next and one visit to the next. The feeling of insignificance in the presence of seemingly boundless nature is humbling and breathtaking. Spa treatment complete. Relaxation achieved. Rejuvenated I return to my life.