Thursday, 30 March 2017

Moving to the country has been a total life change and a big personal journey. Firstly, I sense it will be a place of healing for my decrepit old body, which needs peace and calm in huge quantities whilst it heals and rebuilds.

This winter (our first here) saw me walking around in the fog, letting it engulf me. Slowly breathing in the cold, fresh air, in an ethereal, white landscape, was a very mindful process. 

I couldn't walk far, so I chose short strolls but every day in lonely spots for solitude so I could stay still when I needed. My body hurt and I allowed the pain to simply do what it wanted, run riot, go buck wild, as I mentally stepped away from the aching body and focussed on the incredible and as yet unfamiliar landscape, focusing away from the pain and into the sublime.

At once it was huge and empty, stretching lazily and emptily for miles, into a great gaping.. what? 
abyss..? a big white emptiness..?

Is that what's so appealing about the spectacle of fog - a state of 'nothingness...'? Is it the nearest thing we have to walking through clouds?! 

Close up was full of detail and enchanting minutiae which pulled me in and fascinated. Teasels covered in a thousand tiny shards of frost, strung with crystalline threads of cobwebs now like silently glittering chandeliers.. the views in front of me like wet, rushed paintings, out of focus, whilst in contrast my breath was sharp and real. Not being able to see far makes everything an adventure and heightens the senses.

I trod on grasses that snapped and crunched underfoot and wandered slowly, somewhere between that meditative state and total clarity. I could hear birds rustling and faraway church bells ringing.. I was in awe of the sun rising and watched the fog begin to rise a little and roll in drifts. I knew this orange, mauve, pink haze would soon enough burn off the fog and the pageant would be over.

I briefly wondered how many people 100, 200, 300 years etc before me had marvelled at the same spectacle. I half expected to see Thomas Hardy's Reddleman, Venn, come walking towards me.

It was a quick daily exercise in meditation where for a very short period of time, the external was as vague and ambiguous as the internal. It hurt, physically, but that's ok - it was so good in every other way and took me far out of myself.

So now, this single track lane to our village means home. Along it we watch the sun rising, the sun setting, the mist rolling in, the rain pouring down. We wait as cattle pass, we watch new calves, lambs and chicks being raised.

All of that is now home.

"The quieter you become...
... the more you hear"
Ram Dass

On a less Zen note - I'm so bored with the formatting going nuts on here, so think it's time to change blog supplier!! I'll put a link on here when I change. Seems appropriate at this time to ring in the changes and start everything afresh.