Sunday, 27 January 2013
Week 4 Update: To escape or embrace?
Week 4 was all about getting back to nature. It was harder than I thought.
The week turned into a bit of a crazy frenzy and I found myself having to 'steal' moments of time to get outside. A short walk here, a moment taking in the plants in my front yard there, a cuppa on the deck … little moments that I savoured.
In Melbourne, it was a week of mixed weather – we had sun and rain; some scorching hot days and a few that were more mild. Nothing new or surprising for Melbourne, of course! Yet, through it all, the thing that struck me the most was the wind. As I walked or sat or stood, the wind made its impression. Sometimes hot and gusty, at other times refreshingly cool and smooth. Invisible yet present; ebbing and flowing.
The other thing I noticed was just how ingrained our tendency is to 'escape' nature. If it's hot we go inside where it's cool; if it's cool, we warm up; if it's raining or windy we take shelter. I did my best to resist this urge on occasion this week. I took a walk on a particularly hot day and instead of making the heat wrong or bad or uncomfortable, I tried to simply notice it.
I had fun watching my 10 month old son exploring nature this week, too. He was definitely mindful in the process: his little hands drew back from the prickly grass, then carefully returned for a more thorough exploration.
On some days, the extent of my foray into nature might be as fleeting as the short dash from the front door to the car. On other days I have the luxury of taking a walk or having a picnic. This week has helped me to see that, no matter how brief the opportunity, there's so much to be gained in being present in those moments. As I anticipated, it is grounding, expansive and inspiring.