like sunbeams through clouds,
so calm amidst panic,
so peace within turmoil,
so generosity beside greed,
so love amongst hate,
so health amidst disease,
like sunbeams through clouds
We’ve had a lot of dull, cloudy weather recently, but that hasn’t stopped me from getting out for a daily walk around the local lanes. The best thing about cloudy days is that sometimes the sun breaks through.
Here’s today’s colouring picture. I’m now on to the jungle theme. I hope you, and the kids, have fun colouring monkey in.
as above, below,
as within, without,
for existence lies
within upended reflections
for stillness is found when
the earth breathes air
clear of poisons,
and the greatest virus
by solitude’s unprofitability
allowing healing energies
The daffodils are in full bloom down beside the stream. I like to visit them when out on my daily walk. I’m fortunate enough to be living once again in the nice, quiet village that I moved away from a few years ago. This means that social distancing remains relatively easy while we’re in coronavirus lockdown. There are plenty of lanes for me to wander down, though I do have a few favourite places that I keep on going back to – such as the meadow, woodland and stream. I’m also fortunate in that I’m an introvert and someone who takes quite naturally to social distancing. As long as I have stories to read, arts and crafts to enjoy, and a natural world that I can get out into, then I’m fine. If the government does decide to make the lockdown more intensive, as they’re threatening, and tell us that we can’t leave the house even for a daily walk, then that will be a different matter entirely!
I bought my little crystal ball a few years ago now, then left it untouched and forgotten in a box. I found it when sorting through things before moving house. The upside down reflections just seem to fit with the madness we’re currently going through. Balancing it on the tips of my fingers, and finding the best position for photographs, is also a pleasantly meditative experience and perfect for stilling anxiety.
I hope everyone is staying safe and well, and that whatever form of lockdown or social distancing you’re experiencing in your part of the world isn’t getting you down.
Here’s another colouring picture for you all. I’m nearly through the spacey ones now. I might move on to the ones with a jungle theme tomorrow.
I am a ‘do-er’. I like to get out into nature and ‘do’ something. I always have my camera slung over my shoulder, plus a notepad and pen, and often even a watercolour pad and some paints. I can happily spend hours on end out in our local green spaces doing whichever thing most appeals to me. I always feel very connected to nature.
Recently someone expressed the view that the only way in which to truly connect with nature is to simply ‘be’ out in nature, doing nothing, simply existing. The argument was that people who experience nature through a lens, or who spend their time painting it, or composing a poem about it, are not truly connecting – as if the very process of ‘doing’ somehow negated your connection.
I couldn’t disagree with this more.
So, what do I think?
I think that each of us will achieve our own connection to nature in our own way. There is no right, or wrong, or better way of doing it. For some people, taking a walk through a woodland, listening to the songs of the birds and appreciating the play of light through the branches, will be enough. Another person might need to stop for a time, to fully immerse themselves in the moment. The next might choose to capture the moment through some form of creative expression – through art work, photography, or poetry.
A haiku, for example, is a particularly popular form of poetry whose three lines are intended to encapsulate a moment. These are often linked with the eastern tradition of mindfulness, a method of meditation centered around paying complete attention to your current moment.
Some people might need a guide in order to feel fully connected with nature, someone to point out what is happening where, to show them how to slow down and exist at nature’s pace. Some people might need to take part in an activity in which they’re getting their hands dirty, such as gardening, habitat management, or tree planting. Another person might just prefer to sit beside a river, with a fishing rod at their side.
Now, there is one element to the ‘being’ argument that I do agree with. I believe that a connection with nature is achieved through ‘being’ in nature. However, I also believe that this ‘being’ can achieved through the process of ‘doing’. When you watch a bee flit from flower to flower, waiting for it to move into your camera shot, when you look up in the moment before you touch paintbrush to pad, awestruck by the play of light on water before you, when you tamp down the soil around a newly planted tree, these are all moments of ‘being’ amongst the ‘doing’, even if you don’t recognise them as such.
So if you’re a ‘do-er’ and someone tries to tell you that you’re not actually connecting with nature, please ignore them. They cannot know the depth and truth of whatever connection you feel, any more than you can know the depth and truth of theirs.
Are you a ‘be-er’ or a ‘do-er’? What’s your favourite way in which to connect with nature. Leave a comment – I’d love to know.
Here’s today’s colouring picture.
Here’s an alien mask for today’s kids activity. With this they can be kept entertained not only in making the mask, but also in wearing it and playing at being aliens afterwards! It works best when printed out on A4 card. Paper is a little too flimsy, and any smaller than A4 and it won’t fit their face.
Beyond The Known
Colette O'Neill... Environmentalist, Author, Publisher, Photographer. Creator of Goddess Permaculture.
Creating a Meaningful Life
Exploring our connection to the wider world
Wrangling literary arts for writers: words for people!
watching the world of brain research