It’s hard to talk about my oasis, my place of calm. I don’t really have a specific place, more a state of mind.
It’s a spot where I can be comfortable and sit or lie there with a book, escape into the pages and leave the everyday world behind. It has been like that for as long as I can remember.
I’m a chronic asthmatic, have been my entire life. That meant when I was a child I spent a lot of time ill, a lot of time on my own, a lot of time amusing myself. It was then I became a more than avid reader.
45 years ago asthma was an uncontrollable disease, there were no preventative medications and not many options for symptom relief. If an attack started the best thing was to stay calm and relaxed and hope to ride it out, otherwise it was a house call from the doctor and an injection. I would retreat into a novel, relaxing and calming myself with a great story.
In the long, slow hours when I was awake at night or home from school due to the disease I needed a place of calm and serenity to make it easier on my body to shrug off an attack and to relieve the boredom and I found it in the pages of a good novel.
So my oasis isn’t a single place, when I was a child it was Africa with Dr Doolittle, England with the Secret Seven or the deck of an 18th century sailing ship with Horatio Hornblower. Now it’s just as likely to be the dystopian future of William Gibson or Southern England with Emma Woodhouse or Elizabeth Bennett.
When I open a book I am picked up and taken to another world, another time. I am entirely in the hands of the author to be charmed, scared, romanced or excited at their whim. I am so taken, so captured by my reading, that those that love me have learnt that when I’ reading it’s best to ask a question and wait a moment for my mind to come back from it’s meditation, realise I’m being asked a question and formulate a response. You’re not being ignored, it’s just that it takes a moment.
Sometimes I need my oasis to be a familiar place, I go to my shelves and pull down an old favourite that I know so well that all my responses to the book are predictable and familiar. These are the days when calm is hard to find. At other times a new adventure is what I seek. I want to explore new horizons in the infinite space of fiction.
So if you see me sitting somewhere with a book leave me be and know that physically I can be anywhere but inside my mind I am at peace, calm as I visit my oasis.
This post was inspired by the Daily Prompt Oasis.