Went walking this week below the lovely village of Leighlinbridge, along the towpath of the River Barrow among trees and slow, easy-flowing, water. Here nature moves at a different pace and my thoughts turned to speed and purpose and the way, even from early morning, our minds – under the effect of a high pressure lifestyle – move towards compulsive activity. This is frequently linked to getting something done, an achievement, a future, or other people’s approval. Walking slowly in nature helps us tune into a different awareness, noting how we are, which often gets lost when we continually focus on who we are and how we are doing.
When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”
Mary Oliver, When I am Among the Trees
photo kevin higgins : licensed for reuse under Creative Commons License