I am writing this in my car next to the woods I’ve just walked in. It has cleansed my soul and put me firmly back on planet earth with clarity and lifted the murkiness of recent troubles – which I am not here to bore you with.
For too long I’ve been hung up with being sat at a desk with computer or pen in hand to write. Sitting in the car tapping away on an old iPhone listening to the stream works just as well. This is the 21st century after all!
Actually when I left my house over an hour ago, I had no idea where I was going to go. Walking the dog today was a chore I did not want to do. Having been away for a week, the dog didn’t look too bothered either. I just kind of ended up here.
Over the past 24 hours, I’ve been dipping into Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Wherever you go, there you are. I had downloaded the Headspace app but my free trial had run out and I decided to turn to the godfather of mindfulness that is JKZ. Throughout the book are references to Henry David Throreau, and his experiences living at next to Walden pond. When living surrounded by nature, Thoreau felt truly present in each moment. Nature helped him engage with the here and now. To be present and to better understand himself. Truly the quintessence of mindfulness.
Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity with Nature herself.
Henry David Thoreau, Where I lived, and what I lived for.
There is much simplicity in walking. Whatever is congesting in my mind melted away and I was able to experience similar emotions to what Thoreau might have felt, allowing the beauty, simplicity and the natural world to wash over you.
For moment, I was distracted by clovers. I spent a several minutes looking for a four leave clover that didn’t materialise and only prompted starange looks from Crumpet, the dog. I thought about how one must search in hope for luck rather than just waiting for it. I admired a small beetle just going about its business without a care in the world. It just kept on going, like we all must do.
My mind wondered off to the time the kids and I gathered holly and ferns from this wood for a Christmas wreath. The time I took a friend running through these woods who nearly threw up half way round. The time I saw an elusive deer skip across the path at dusk about a decade ago. My own personal connections ebbed and flowed interspersed with moments of focus on the natural world that surrounded me.
Today, I went to those woods feeling empty, I left feeling feeling whole. I truly had been there. I am here now and no mattered what happens, I should feels privileged to be so.