It's hard to put your finger on what it is that makes being in countryside or in a garden more pleasurable than being in other settings. The best explanation I can put to it occurred many years ago when I was on a walk somewhere in the Macclesfield Forest area: it was a hot day and I'd walked a long way, so I lay down on pine needles to rest.This was the perfect place to relax - it was completely silent.
At least I thought it was. However, after a few minutes of this 'silence', I realised it was far from that: the wind through the treetops was making a sighing sound not unlike that of waves on the shore; a curlew's liquid call drifted along the valley and, somewhere in nearby undergrowth a large insect or small mammal made foraging sounds. The more I tuned into what had been there all along, the more there was to hear. And this is what I came to refer to as the heartbeat of the earth. It outlined how my own 'reality' was very limited - restricted within a space helmet of my own making. Tuned into the heartbeat I become part of something far greater: my own life acquires a new perspective - problems are reduced when seen against the infinity of creation and, as a result, I feel peace.
The thing is, you don't need to be in the middle of the countryside to appreciate this good feeling, it can be achieved in the garden. The gardener is a control freak, and a relaxed walk around far too often becomes a listing of jobs: weeding here, plant supporting there, pest controlling somewhere else, and so on. Occasionally, try to just be there.
|click to enlarge|