I’ve just walked 4 miles in the rain. Its that time of year when we could feel a little uncomfortable, or even down. Winter is bleak right?
The weather seems to epitomise maybe how the nation is feeling now. Or even how many of us around the world are feeling right now, especially in the northern hemisphere, during these stark winter months. Energy and fuel prices sky high, futures seemingly unknowable, seeing the worried looks on faces unsure of how they’ll cope. Not seeing beyond the immediate terror and gloom of it all. Understandable, but highly limiting, and potentially highly damaging. That view will actually only make things worse for us. It’s a fact.
But I make no apology when I say I welcome the rain and the points of difference. I love change and diversity. Rain and cold? I see it as a challenge of my equanimity, and ability to adapt. No apology given I’m afraid. I’m relishing it. Puddles galore are an opportunity for a splash of fun. Or an opportunity to reflect on what we’re doing, or what we might do to, or to improve things. I don’t know, but whenever I walk, I take the opportunity to reflect on situations, like problems, challenges or issues. It helps put things in perspective when I spend time on my own. And I always find it helps and works.
But the fact I’m walking through Nature, on a windy path, brushing the trees, stroking the new sapling ferns and firs, being surprised along the way by yet another sprouting fungi and seeing their variety, helps me see things in perspective whilst actually energising me. Or perhaps, naturally reconnecting my whole being as a reset to what I feel is my natural state of connectedness to the world and feeling a kind of energetic network all around me. That I am part of it. Am I passing through it? Or is it passing through me? Whichever it is, it is relaxing, engaging, and refreshing.
The fact the nearby motorway traffic is rushing by but yards from me on a wet and noisy road is not an issue. Its not such a distraction that it interrupts my train of thought. The martial artist does not reject or resist, for that would bring pain. Just like when I went to the dentist once and said I’d rather not have anaesthetic. I decided to put this approach of least resistance to the test. It worked! I let the pain pass through me, knowing that if I resisted, the friction of fearful thought and emotion hitting headlong with the drill would feel more painful.
But of course, just like the drill, I know this rain will pass. It is a passing phase that is necessary, for new growth, for repair and appreciating the dynamic contrast of weather. And of course, it reminds me that in the bigger picture, the world is in transition, and its going to feel a little uncomfortable whilst the dark clouds surround us, whilst the fog of confusion swirls about us, and whilst those cats and dogs are falling from the skies on us incessantly. But, I’m taking an easy pace, relaxed, not rejecting the rain, or the fact water is invading my shoes, but I accept and feel it, even enjoy its points of difference in contrast to the norm.
I found myself regularly smiling as I glided past the majesty of the trees, reminding myself of the equally impressive root network each tree hides underground, reflecting as a mirror image their outward appearance. Aware of they’re function revealed by their form, looking like antennas .. receiving cosmic energy, distributing it into the Earth. Equally, the other way, to receive Earth energy, and to distribute it out into the universe. It is a beautiful thought of connectivity and elegant design. The walk was a reminder of so much we forget or are unaware of. I ended my walk having found exciting solutions and ideas to issues that had played on my mind the last few days. I was happy to reach the dry house, but equally happy it had been a relaxing and productive hour, and not a sapping of my energy, just the opposite in fact.
We may be going through hard times, and times of turmoil, but these are necessary times, seasonally, politically, financially and in all ways. In all ways, change is upon us. All is in flux. It can be a terrifying prospect, or an exciting one. We have the power to decide. It is how we respond to that change which determines the outcome of whether the opportunity has been seized, or shunned. Whether we are seeing things in perspective, or through the narrowness of tunnel vision. And even if we fail to utilise the time successfully or usefully, then it surely is a good and entirely useful thing to know that this too shall pass. Its just a question of perspective.
Paul Heaney, November 2022.
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