I meditate this afternoon, late, under a line of beeches and oaks. Their canopies sway in the breeze. My velvet cushion, a gold and auburn leaf-carpet underfoot, is soft and warm. Even Copernicus, my canine companion, slows to a steady trot rather than engage in his usual scurry and bounce. He admires nature and breathes in the day.
I breathe out troubles — those tiny worries that seem huge, yet mean little when the sun shines through the branches. They swim, bone-surface, out into the chirp and forage, the busyness of wildlife behind the calm exterior.
Forest-bathed, I glide, light now after the immersion, and note the sounds of the natural world gather speed as I am still. The wind rustles copper autumn leaves. The horses in a nearby field gallop and whinny, and squirrels’ scamper.
This quiet peace inside cracks the debris, that dark crust of gloom, and sends it to crackle groundward. It crunches with each step along the dirt path, and I lighten until my feet grow wings.
Feathers, not mine, sit in the bramble bush. We peek through the green, Copernicus and I, and spy a pheasant. She watches and extends her neck to hone her view of us. We walk on. It’s kindest to let her rest without fear of intruders.
A sudden burst of warmth spreads from my torso to mingle with the trees. They answer with leaf giggles and sighs. I’m so light now that my boots seem an inch from the forest floor.
A wood pigeon calls. Her gentle drone sends tingles down my spine, and one last summer bee hum floats high into the boughs of an ancient elm. This old tree’s sap has long spilled from nooks and crannies. Butterflies, last spring, fed from it. They beat their new wings to life’s melody and sipped the sweet nectar — a gift.
Home whispers through the woods. The fireplace sends pictures of yellow flames casting flickers that lick the lounge walls. The kettle speaks too. She sends an image of steam that rises and water that falls into my favorite coffee cup.
It’s time to head back along the trail and make merry with the ease and cheer indoors. I thank the woodland, the wildlife, and the wind and end my meditation with gratitude and a soul filled with bright kindness at the day’s end.