In search of silence

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Edwardian houses line up clean streets with flower baskets hanging symmetrically on doors, as if keeping things in order. It has classic and elegant look to things. Every time I go somewhere I am taken back by just how different each place feels. It evokes particular feelings in me. This place has always drawn me in with its sophistication and class running through the theme of its buildings, streets and the overall posture of the place. It is all standing tall and proud and I find it very reassuring somehow. I am here for two reasons, to see if the feeling I get is still intact and positive, and I am also on a trip in search of silence away from the noises of planes and roads, which lately has been overwhelming me. I find myself struggling with the constant buzzing noise in the air wherever I go.

As I step into the woodland I am full of hope and anticipation of finding a new space where, may be, just may be the buzzing stops. I find none for quite some time going on a path and off at regular intervals trying out different spots in hope of it taking me away from the noise. Eventually I stop and a tinge of disappointment comes over me. There is no silence here, it is nowhere to be found and instantly I begin to crave places in the Highlands where air stands still and silence is ear-piercing. I become nostalgic and sad with an instinctual reaction of wanting to run away. I recognise it well, as we all want to escape sometimes, but the question remains and comes forward strongly, how can we find silence amidst all the noise of life without having to run to the top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere. I stand still and tune into myself and focus on maintaining the stillness as much as I can and then slowly continue on a path holding on to a sense of ‘don’t give up’. Forest always has the answer in my experience. That I never doubt and today it is no different. I become mindful and finely aware of the details surrounding me, forest floor, most on tree trunks, crow’s calls overhead and scattering of squirrels in the fallen leaves. I touch the ground under my feet, I hold on to a tree and I smell its bark. I close my eyes and here it is – silence!

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Silence is at the heart of the earth, inside and around things within the system that is the natural world. Silence is in going off the beaten path. It is inside a tree, on the ground. Nature doesn’t rush or despair, it is as always simply being and in that it holds on to its own silence and peace, in knowing itself inside out. On contact with it all I find silence amidst the buzzing noise overhead.

I also notice often while in a forest that there’s a lot to be said for staying on the path when it feels safe and knowing. Going off the path can also serve well when the familiar is in chaos and direction is lost. Then getting lost can bring you back to what life is like and what feelings one need to acknowledge to find yourself. Nature reflects that perfectly to us wherever we are in that moment in life. It can always find a way of answering questions we carry if we are still enough and willing enough to explore and listen.

I also get an answer to why this area draws me in now and again with its elegant and classic presentation. I get to see that it is a shape of a square, which is curious, and what comes to me is the feeling of complete containment. It is orderly, strong and holding, which I deeply resonate with and often need reminding of.

And at the end of it all, of course, comes gratitude, which is the last word and a paint stroke on everything that I work on. Gratitude has an ability to transmute everything into its natural form and state. It is like the Earth that always leads to the truth of things. It always brings things back into focus and centre within.

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Nature as the divine expression

Last night I found myself curiously led to researching something I had never resonated with but had tried to explore on several occasions and for a moment there I felt first paying attention, then being confused, followed by feeling lost and somewhat empty. Not a great feeling. I also understood how it is very much possible to be swept away with something or being convinced by a set of ideas depending on the emotional and thinking state a person researching something is at that moment. I thought to myself ‘nah’, it felt very much like a trap, like a veil very nearly went over me, yet I didn’t quite fall into it.

Renewed after a good night sleep and armoured with some empowering dreams’ material circulating in me I found today clarifying and simple. I felt reaffirmed again that Nature is the only God for me. It is seeing divine and sacred in simple and ordinary things as nature shows without necessarily the supernatural element. If anything that is in addition or a part of something else. Nature is right in the centre of what it is to live a meaningful life, what it is to know unconditional love and know yourself as a whole (light and dark), what it means to be a part of the natural world and living in accordance with its cycles and most of all experience feelings, emotions and sensations like nowhere else can offer for me from snowfall in winter to standing on top of the highest mountain drinking in wind and rain. For me that is all living as close to those experiences as possible that makes me who I am and makes my soul feel fulfilled, nourished and looked after.

When I look all around I know what is divine and my heart leaps into a space of unimaginable light and joy. Truly spiritual experience surrounding by living, breathing, ever-changing natural world.

‘Noticing’ as a path to true living

When my child says something is beautiful be it a scenery, painting, a person’s face or an experience it goes right to my heart. It is a felt experience for me to hear and know that he’s noticed something that truly touched him. I learn from my son the art of appreciating what is in the moment and banking those moments into a bundle that is a life truly lived.

When we notice, we are present, we are in a felt experience of what is going through us and touching us as a living being energy. The more detail we notice in something or someone the deeper we go into the moment of being present with what is now, what is alive and speaking to us.

To me hearing my son express his delight in what he observes represents a true living rather than a passing energy of existing in a chain of life events, day to day, week to week. It tells me something is always worth noticing, examining, learning no matter how small. It speaks to me of a quality of always wondering what the next day, trip, touch and experience might bring. It is remaining curious and fully in life at all times. It is, to me, is beautiful, and who is better to connect us to that way of being than children, whose light shines through unapologetically and if it’s expression is allowed to be authentic at all times then we benefit from that more so through connecting not just to a real experience of knowing our children, but also re-connecting to our own inner child, which often gets forgotten as we get old.

Home land

Earlier this summer I sat with my father looking at the map of Scotland, as I explained to him our travel plans, and suddenly he started going over each area naming it, as if it was a map of Russia, specifically Siberia. He gets it, ‘I thought’, and it meant so much to me. Some deep felt understanding between us, even when often unspoken, always produces a connection, which holds answers and links to what we are together, separate and where we come from. He knows what I mean when I talk about the land. He knows the feeling I speak so much of as if he feels it too and, I think, he does, in his own way, as we both had separated from our land a long time ago yet the yearning had never gone away. Does it ever leave you? Not if it is part of your soul’s tapestry.

Only this morning looking at pictures of Siberian nature it really landed for me that Scotland is as close to my ‘home land’ as I am ever going to get. I feel so at ease and comfortable there. I have called it home on many occasions and there are things that just make sense to me when I am there. Love makes sense, intense grief makes sense and tears of sorrow and joy that come every time I arrive and leave make sense. Within me there had always been a sense of separation from home, although well-hidden, which when young had not been processed and felt and this is what I have been feeling for the last few years. It is not simply a case of loving visiting a place, it is a case of ‘this is where I want to live and die’. There is nowhere else for me. It feels like an obligation to my soul and I now get what many immigrants had felt before me and many still do. I get what I have been doing the last few years in awakening my connection to a home once lost and never to be regained. My deep love for Scotland is my love for home.

Here are some pictures of Siberian nature. Perhaps, you can see what I see. It has always been about lakes and pine forests for me, deer, mountains and rivers, small villages and community living. As I write this, my heart aches. Ever since I came back to my house in the South, I have been in physical and emotional turmoil. It hurts being here and the feeling is so real like a culture shock and a need to acclimatise and fit back into the order of things that is here and not where I belong. I am left once again bereft, confused and heartbroken that gets harder to bare each year.

 

My paradise

I am back in paradise and there is no despair, turmoil or overwhelm this time…

This year I only feel joy, pleasure and gratitude for being here. I am being very vocal in expressing my appreciation of the land. I admire a very full in red heavy berries rowan by the side of a lake and revel in beauty of purple flowers. Simple yet so exquisite in its perfection against the very green that is everywhere. Everything seems so much riper, bigger and more beautiful in comparison to other places. It reminds me of my birth place in many respects where nature had also been very rich in its presentation and a way of being. I look at the mountains and I feel still and content rather than torn and in deep yearning, which I could never explain. The smell of the land, that particular scent I can always summon wherever I am, is still here, it hasn’t changed and I am glad of that. I take pleasure in observing every little house, weed, animal, tree and wonder how people live here with curiosity. I do feel jealousy quite sharply this time for the life that I imagine goes on here in this place of beauty and such peace and quiet. Stillness of the land is intoxicating and, I believe, it is exactly this energy that I align with the most, this is what I crave. Peace, quiet, beauty and isolation.

Walking through a Celtic rainforest earlier today I can feel myself melting into its freshness and moulding into its trees’ bark, inhaling the air of the forest, breathing with it as one. Rain gently washing my face and hair brushed back I feel free. Assured, grounded and humbled, very grateful for being able to feel the way that I do when I am here in this land and in touch with all the elements. It is a true blessing in my life here on Earth.

As another day comes to an end here in paradise I am content, calm, pleasantly tired and completely in love with everything this land is and everything that is in and around me today.

Announcement – Nature Spirit Walks Tarot

I am happy to announce the release of the latest project in collaboration with Cortney Cameron, whose wonderful idea and beautifully designed images materialised in this invaluable resource. It has been my absolute pleasure contributing to this project. Enjoy!

ORDER HERE

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Summer – the time for wilderness, the time for releasing your beast

Anger, physicality, sensate expression of instincts, body merging with the earth in its full expression – that’s what June is all about as we are building up to Litha. Swimming, walking barefoot, lying on mountain tops, communing with wildlife, beasts, bugs and plants alike are all the activities that feed the body and awake the soul.

There’s danger, however, when summer is fully alive in its wilderness. Night and day both carry life within and it can feel unsafe. This resonate with my overwhelm of the forest and feeling apprehensive about venturing out during the explosion of life in the land during summer. I tend to withdraw, hence I like the quietness and sleepiness of winter. It is safer. However, by withdrawing a part of me remains enclosed, hidden and that’s what needs to change this year.

Wild-self calls and roars pushing boundaries of a self-created seclusion. It needs expressing and breathing with the rhythms of the season.

A safe place for wild spirit for me is the Highlands of Scotland. There my wild-self is contented, it is allowed to be in its full majesty. It scares me always yet I thirst for it at the same time. There my whole aligns with the wild nature around me. I eagerly drink it into my cells, I merge with it like it is home and my spirit sours into endless skies daily and consumes my whole being with a sense of raw, complete, real and natural. It often manifests with anger, emotional cries and outward expression of raw things. It is unable to hide and sit still. It needs to run, fly, crawl and swim all at the same time. It can feel and look scary and crazy uncontainable and vicious, but it all makes sense and, perhaps, in embracing and allowing that for myself a bit more will also relax others in joining me and not being afraid of a strong bite and a loud screech that it often comes with.

Summer is truly a time for letting go and letting be. It is a time to fly higher and swimming further. Last summer I remember wanting to go on the water in a kayak and the fear that gripped me was so irrational yet it immobilized me. Someone said to me ‘go for it, we only live once, might as well’ and so I did. The freedom of releasing the urge to glide through vast waters released the excitement I had ever felt before. With each push across the lake I went further and further and with each minute I wanted to do more and more.

When I am faced with the mountains of the Highlands I can hear the scream within me telling me to run, scream, be in its fullest. The impulse in me to merge with the land is so strong that I know if I don’t I could easily just stagnate and die through my own fear and a loss of the potentially ecstatic experience. It is like choosing to drink poison and staying in a position of never knowing what it’s like to live fully. When I step on that mountain trail my heart and spirit sour, I want to run and cry and scream, the feeling I have of being as one with the land, a place I never want to leave for as long as I live.

I break my heart every time I have to leave the wilderness behind, because it means my wild-self has to go back into a safe enclosure of my other life, which is managed, contained and often unexciting.