I started to walk a short distance a couple of weeks ago and after walking each day I can now walk a bit further and get into my local country park. What joy to be out there! There is so much space and I connect to Mother Earth via my feet and look up at the sky. The trees are green, the birds are singing and the small river/stream is burbling away. I am so lucky to be able to do this as there are many who do not have that pleasure because of where and how they live.
I love the space and always have done. I hate being confined and I do not like lifts or elevators as they are called in other countries. It took me around 50 years to discover why I did not like to be in small spaces. But doing some work on the emotional ties connecting me to my mother I realised that this hate of confined spaces was because I was born during the war and my mother would not go into the bomb shelter but huddled in the space under the stairs. I remember this space well and it was not very big. So there was my mother huddling while pregnant and then after my birth I was taken into the space with her. No wonder I don’t like confined spaces.
But back to my walks in the park. There are the joggers and the dog walkers all keeping the distancing as required but we nod greetings to each other as we pass. I love to stand by the old stone bridge and watch the stream rippling away in the sunshine. I have seen thrushes which I don’t get in the garden and squirrels playing in the trees. It is so good for me to be out there and any depression I may have soon lifts. It is well known that being outdoors is good for mental health. I have chatted with friends this week keeping our distance as required but we have had some interesting discussions about our new world which is on the way.
I shall continue my walks as long as I can and enjoy the open space and clean fresh air. I am looking forward to when I can see the demoiselle damselflies which can usually be found by the stone bridge. I keep looking but they haven’t hatched out yet.
I hope you are able to get out into some green open spaces, they are so good for you.
I have been thinking of writing about gratitude for some time then this morning, my news feed on social media came up with all these memes about being grateful! Gratitude is something that has been lost for some time as people take for granted that their every need will be met so let’s look at what we can be grateful for in this current time.
Although the western world appears to be wealthy and every one has a home and enough food and clothes, that is not necessarily the case. Every large town and city has areas where there is deprivation of some kind. During this current crisis, many of these people will be wondering where the next loaf of bread is coming from never mind a new phone. We need to look at how we live and be grateful for what we have and share what we have but don’t need with others.
We are being encouraged to go out for exercise. If you live in a tower block and the lift is out of order, just going up and down the stairs will keep you fit but in our crowded cities and towns where is the fresh air for us to breathe? Now there is less air pollution being outside is much better but we are now being told that the air inside our homes is more polluted and we are using far too much electricity keeping all our gadgets charged and usable.
I am grateful this morning for the rain which has soaked the garden. It is more important to me than a mobile phone that does fancy things. I am grateful for the birds that sing and build nests in my hedge. They give me more joy than watching the TV. I am grateful for the fact that I can still get outside and have a short walk despite my widespread arthritis and myofascial pain. I am grateful for being here at this time of crisis so that I can take time to look at how I want my new world to be after the lockdown. What are you grateful for?
I am an avid watcher of the Tour de France and this year has been no exception. But what has this to do with druidry?
In my younger years and especially in my teens and twenties, I rode a bike every day. I rode to school or work, out with a club on Sundays and training session in the week as well. I was fit and healthy and loved being outside. Many times we cycled over country tracks and in the lesser known parts of the countryside. We felt free, breathed clean air and in many ways we communed with nature. When I look back I sense the freedom of those days, the enjoyment and fulfilment after a long days ride. These were the days before mobile phones, indeed a land line was a luxury and a colour TV was only for those with money. But we did not need these things, we had the open skies to see, the rivers to sit by and often wade or cycle through and clean air to breathe. Mobile phones, DVDs and other technological items do not compensate for the enjoyment and freedom of those long ago days. Many of my cycling friends still cycle in their 70’s and enjoy the great outdoors still. The photo for this week is a very old one when I was about 18. I think it is a print taken from a colour slide, the ‘in’ technology of that time! Watching the Tour de France, I also took in the wonderful landscapes around. So much to see and enjoy and I have a dream to tour France when this great cycle race is on. Any takers out there?