Let’s face it, the past few days, weeks and months have been pretty traumatic. In UK, the unresolved Brexit situation lingers. Devastating earthquakes, typhoons and hurricanes, have caused destruction worldwide. And a new President Elect threatens changes of real consequence to more than just the USA. So it’s been a pretty torrid time. Hope’s depressed, tempers have flared and dreams have become nightmares for many.
So, what to do about it?
The stalwarts say, ‘Go with the flow.’ But such relaxed attitudes don’t fit us all. Perhaps the best we can do as we sit and wait for unknowns to harden into outcomes is distract ourselves with less material things. Many will appeal to various Gods worshipped around the globe. But such escape doesn’t work for the rational mindset. Can we find spiritual distraction and value in the natural world that surrounds our artificial towns and cities?
Let’s wander the countryside and seek solace there.
I’m fortunate. Retirement from paid employment has allowed my wife and I to leave behind the places work dictated and enabled us to chose where to spend the rest of our days. We selected a village in the rural environment of the Forest of Dean. Less than a hundred years ago, this area was full of heavy industry, mining for coal and iron and the works that go with such endeavour. But the ores and minerals were removed and the associated industries they supported moved on.
Nature took back the land, cleansed and renewed it. Trees now hide spoil heaps, trees now climb the walls of forgotten quarries, trees now spread their boughs of peace and colour, shade and quivering leaves, over peaceful clearings and secret pathways. Families of wild boar roam the slopes, deer haunt the woods, squirrels dash and scamper along their highways in the canopy, and birds of many type give song and bright flight among the intertwining boughs.
It’s all but impossible to maintain anxiety when wandering the sinuous tracks that snake among the trees. And autumn lends surprise in colour, as fallen leaves broadcast a scattered cloak of gold, russet, buttermilk, amber, ruby, rouge and amethyst over the base coat of mocha, pecan, caramel and umber. Here, where boles of copper, chocolate, sage, ebony and flint rise, stretch skyward, seek the blue and white patched source of life above, it’s easy to imagine we’re the only people left within our Eden. We can walk for hours without sound or sight of other people. And those we do occasionally meet, with or without their dogs, are generally kind, like-minded souls in search of serenity.
So, do yourself a favour. Deny the blue-bright screen of news, eschew the neon flashes, turn your back on frenetic noise, and venture into your nearest quiet place. Absorb the peace and tranquillity, listen to the birds, watch the wildlife, observe the natural beauty and give your spirit time to refresh and rise.
Mind you, not too many at a time, or you’ll ruin the very serenity you seek!