The sun was shining today so I achieved something I’ve been failing miserably at since Christmas. I went for a walk. A whole hour in the sun and the fresh air!
The first thing I noticed as I went up the hill was my aching legs. Obviously my laziness has not gone unnoticed by my calf and thigh muscles. But I pressed on.
Next thing was the snowdrops. They are at that perfect stage just now – almost open but not quite. Hundreds, maybe thousands of them, glowing against the mud and the dead stuff and the dirty brown of the hedges. I found myself wishing that I’d brought my camera, but hard on the heels of that thought came an insight that I’ve had once or twice before. Let me explain. I have photos on my computer, in folders with names such as Spring 09, Winter 08/09 and so on. The photos are of sunsets, spring flowers, ferns opening, bare branches against January skies, lambs in fields, Autumn leaves, etc etc. Things that you can see every year. Things that can never be captured adequately on film. Things that are always immeasurably better if you see them for real. And finally, things that never lose their freshness and always make you glad to be alive.
So let’s save the camera for times that aren’t going to come again, like young children playing, birthdays and anniversaries, holidays and special occasions. And let’s get out there as often as possible and renew ourselves daily, weekly, season by season.
After that it was just one thing after another. Tight catkins waiting for the warmth of spring. Pennywort and Hart’s Tongue ferns and fluffy moss contrasting beautifully against the brown, dead leaves and ferns and the tightly cropped hedgerows. Young lambs skipping in the fields. Water rushing in the gully beside the lane, and pouring out of the hedge after the recent heavy rain. (Hey, that rhymes – maybe I’ll try poetry one day). And the sun was warm (in places!)
By the time I got home my mood was more positive than it had been for days. It would be silly to claim that I’d forgotten all those wonderful things were out there on my doorstep; but it certainly did me a lot of good to be reminded.
Of course it’s raining again now, but I know that Spring is coming and I plan to looking out for it.
When I got home I cut some twigs from the garden like we used to do as children. Sticky buds from the Horse Chestnut, and some green and red stems from Cornus, in a glass on the kitchen windowsill. It might be a bit early for them to come into leaf, but we’ll see.
I think this could be counted as an hour of Mindfulness. I’d like to do it more often.