I am whole…

Isle of Mull, Scotland

An open view as far as the eye can see. I can even feel beyond that. For the first time in many years the picture is complete with every mountain sketch, rock, shoreline and bird in the sky in full view. The sun is high yet gentle and blues and greens are in perfect harmony with a splash of purple and pink in corners and edges of the land. We are approaching. A castle stands proud above the cliffs that shelter a sheer drop. It is still here. I delight in that reassurance.

When a view opens up from a living room window it is vast. You can see and feel the mountains breathe into the sea and exhales come as waves and splashes that freshen everything up. Everything is injected with life. It is overwhelming trying to take it all in. It feels like I can’t decide if there’s too much air or not enough of it. It is a sensation of possession by raw instinct that makes you want to take your shoes off and run to the edge of the vista that sprawls open in front. The end of the earth is there. Senses are both sharpened and relaxed. It is intoxicating to a point of wanting never to sober up. Silence is otherworldly.

I sit at a large kitchen table surrounded by lush green landscape with rowan and gorse, ash and oak in faithful surround. Those trees know the land intimately, they know they belong. I can’t take my eyes away from large windows in front of me, which makes it impossible to work. It takes a few days to be able to fit into this pristine environment and realise where I come from and where I am. The contrast is shockingly stark. It is a process of bedding in, acclimatising slowly and steady or you might just suffocate.

I decide to go for a walk, something I have been looking forward to for a whole year. My beloved walks in nature and here I find everything. It all is just as I left it last time. I find it reassuring and comforting. It is all here, still. When I am away I often wonder if things change when I am not there to see it, will it all still be there? Will I have another chance to live it? One never knows. Every time I find it is just as I left it and it is a relief and something beyond beautiful and soothing to know it will outlive everyone and everything.

I walk along a path and silence wraps me up in a cloud of peace. It is palpable, ethereal like nothing else on earth for me, the most precious commodity and a gift. I cherish it with every land’s breath, every leaf movement and rain drop that makes up the silent chorus that is nature being. My heart is in my mouth and I am deeply happy. There’s nothing else I need or want in that moment and if it was to be the last that would be a glorious end. I always feel that way here in those moments when there’s no past or future and the present is so perfect and complete that nothing else is needed or matters.

I continue on the path but not for long as I am a habitual off-the-path walker. I always need to go in where wild resides. I need to get close to it and it makes itself known by making scratches on my legs, sticking things to my clothes and dipping my feet in mud. I fee feral and ecstatic. Makes me feel I belong that little bit more. It is the unknown yet feels like home. I scramble up a wooded hill and it is like my own invisible circle – a place where magic is the law not just a possibility. It is all so simple and fresh. It is always there and doing its thing. It knows itself as much as anything on earth can ever know. This is a true nature of things. I want to be that way if only I never had to leave or having to do things or even think. Humans are limited through complicating things. It is never simple in our minds and we dwell in those self-imposed prisons without realising it, by habit automatically. Awareness comes not easy to us.

I wrap my arms around a silver birch trunk, wet and earth-smelling. Its smooth bark is like a touch of a loved one. My grandmother comes to mind and memories of walking in silverbirch forests in my childhood flood in. Every touch here means something, every smell is a reminder how entwined I am with nature in my body and spirit. I lose track of time. There is no time here, only life, only what you see and feel.

I am having to drag myself out back on to the path. Deer to my left startled and frozen as they pick up my scent. They look right at me before fleeting, cautious and on guard always. I smile. Fresh and clean air hits every inch of my body and I could almost be floating I feel so uplifted as happiness spreads through me. I let my hair loose and stand catching every bit of the breeze that is sweet and the most soothing thing I could ask for. I stand still for a minute hungry for more, taking each breath and there’s more coming. I can’t get enough there’s so much on offer.

I get moving again and come across some cottages by a loch-side. I always wonder what it must be like to live in such a place. I used to get envious to a point of passing out but since have learnt a lot more. At this point I am under no illusion that it is easy. My initial idealised vision has truly been grounded in reality of life on an island, in a land so wild, raw and free that one has to work at belonging. Every cottage makes me think and wonder of a possibility of a compromise. It is a symbol of a relationship between a human and nature. It offers a possibility of finding out if one is brave enough.

Stroking a thick coat of a highland coo I touch something primal. Animals bring a sense of kinship to my instinctual animalistic self. I am in love every time I touch an animal. They are warm, looking right at me with their black eyes and there is a connection no doubt. A lot can be learnt from the beasts of that land. Birds of pray are everywhere here, they are noisy one minute and gliding silently the next, barely there.

Time to turn back. I am so happy, utterly at peace and content. My body feels satisfied like it’s had the most nourishing meal. Nothing else needed. Nothing needs to be added or taken away. It is complete. I am whole.

Can Nature…?

Can nature heal

Can earth bring us back to our knees and pierce its ancient dagger through the heart

Can nature teach you who you are

Can a bird song inspire, delight and speak of both sorrow and joy

Can river wash away the debris of the worldly matter

Can mountain hold you in such a way you never wobble again

Can spring flowers inject a hope into our being

Can roaming animal body remind us of the raw wilderness within

Can the falling snow cover us in sheer enchantment

Can rain drops on the skin put us in touch with our bodies

Can a flight of an eagle inspire strength and power waiting to take flight inside of us

Can God bow before its majesty and weep tears of love

What is it that nature does and doesn’t that makes our lives worth living and speaks of meaning old as centuries

Of nature we are born and to its body we return

As outside so is within

What can be more life, meaning, strength and delight all at the same time

Nature is magic and matter, spirit and body

Bones and blood, skin and intelligence

All embracing…

One place we become whole, we come home, we know what we are

Imperfect beauty

imperfectly perfect

 

A tree bent by the wind is still a tree playing with possibilities

A river still or turbulent is still a river living through flexibility of flow

A creature with a scar to its skin is still beautiful if not more so, as it speaks to us of the whole

 

Nature is the ultimate ‘whole’, because it perfectly contains ‘the beauty and the beast’ in all its expression and life cycles. It is both in order and disarray all at the same time. Nature is open to all possibilities, sunny one minute and stormy the next. Nature is the imperfectly perfect representation of how life begins and ends, how it grows, flows, fights and remains still. The beauty of it all is often beyond words. What can be more humbling and awakening than when a human heart feels it deeply and knows the sheer majesty there’s in the natural world.

Other posts on perfection 

A trip that freed me

Here are some pictures from my trip to Perthshire, Scottish Highlands this past October just before Samhain. This was a long anticipated trip, not because it haven’t been before, I have, but because I made it there on my own after talking and planning for years. I finally did it and something in me changed forever now, solidified in knowing this is it. This is the place I first came years ago and where my love affair and deep spiritual connection with the land began. The trip that I took was a journey down memory lane and my love is just as strong, if not stronger. It was an absolutely perfect end to a wonderful year where all the through I have been committed to doing things differently  and have succeeded. Enjoy Scotland pics in Autumn.

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