I go on walks often, sometimes I am called if there is a message for me to receive or a scar to attend to. Other times I feel my heart bursting with such gratitude I am in need of a walk in order to honour nature for all the gifts it bestows on my life and my spirit. Honouring nature in however small ways every day is how my spirit keeps its spark.
As I drove in my car this morning I was feeling an expansion of senses, a renewed energy that has come in during the night, and a slight happy tingling in the body. I knew then I ought to immerse myself in the spirit of my dear woods. Just then a crow flew very close to my windscreen as if to say ‘come, come, you are welcome’. I smiled to myself and said, ‘I am on my way’.
On approaching a path towards the woods I looked down on a lot of mud under my feet after heavy rain last night. I began to walk and as I turned right for a moment I looked upon a crook standing against a fence. ‘A perfect walking aid to help me through the muddy path’, I thought. Perfectly aligned. My heart expanded more and with a smile I continued on my walk basking my face in the sun and breathing in deeply all the sounds and smells of this late February morning.
A little shell on a fence post caught my eye and in bewilderment I picked it up, looked at it and contemplated on how this relates to how I feel. Shells are aquatic spirits and water is a symbolic representation of our emotions. ‘Pay attention’, it whispered and I put it back on the post and continued. Under my feet suddenly there was this very clean stream running amongst all the mud and my heart expanded even further. Aha. The indication of a contrast within us all of murky waters with a clear stream of joy and unconditional love. We often have conflicting emotions and familiar with ups and downs of life flow. Paying conscious attention to our feelings in the moment is such a powerful and healing tool. Emotions are only as strong as the control we give to them and if we allow emotions to flow like a stream flowing through the leaves and stones on the floor of the forest hugging every corner of natural bed, so can we be with whatever we experience. Nature doesn’t resist, it flows. It looked beautiful, like nature mirroring it back to me in such a way I could sense and feel. I also became very aware of my lower body, my limbs, my legs and hips. Skeletal formation of bones that carries me through the mud, through the rain, through the stones, through bramble. Whatever it is I set my intention to do my body is ever-present in assisting my purpose. My heart expanded even further into a gratitude for my body.
The highlight of the morning was my romantic encounter with the Ash tree. Its jet black buds looked extraordinary, like bullets waiting to shoot into lush greenery with approaching spring. Soon, it will be a beautifully decorated canopy of leaves shading me from the Sun on one of my walks. I held its branches in my hand as if shaking its ‘hand’ saying thanks for receiving me this morning into the woods. I felt the tree’s heartbeat. Yes, the core of it radiated warmth and energy of a circular nature spiralling through its trunk down to the roots and up towards to the Sun. I had my face against its bark and my arms around it and was able to catch impulses of that energy, which felt caring, tender and loving. I visualised myself in a dance with the Ash tree imagining its roots going deep down into the Earth and me standing on the roots spinning in a circular motion of fantasy and enchantment. In our waltz-like dance other trees joined in a synchronous movement of the beat ‘one, two, three’ and we spin and spin and spin… I opened my eyes with my heart filled with gratitude and joy and I bow down low to my friendly dancing partner promising to be back soon.
I came back from my walk and sat down to write. All is well with the world!