Sunday, 30 October 2011

Listen

Sitting, waiting and listening. In a place of belonging. He looks out over the patterned parallel lines of emerging wheat to the distant flame coloured autumnal trees. Shadowless they stand in the almost pleasantly warm early morning breeze. The fields seem lifeless under the greyness of the heavy clouds. Searching for meaning; searching for the unknowable, searching for the unexpected; searching for that something that will transform the ordinary into spirit - the real into the surreal.

Skylarks sing high and unseen. Above the gentle fields their song feels as though this should be springtime and not the end of October. A flock of fifty or so noisy seagulls rise from not far away and circle past him, silently - twisting and turning before vanishing against the horizon.

Once more in the stillness. Alone, it would seem at first glance, but yet not. A ladybird and a small dark brown snail move by his feet - this field edge being the beach to the sea of monoculture. The will of Gaia is always strong: to bring life and bio-creativity to any bare land.

From the far distance the repeated ring of a single church bell mingles with the song of the larks. Together they call to him, both have the same message. Listen to me, listen to song; listen to 'words', listen to an 'other', listen to spirit. Unlike in the film 'The Wicker Man' two worlds of otherness sit side by side. They become one.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Dreams in the Landscape

On autumnal earth, with leaves that have become a memory of summer, the trees reach for the cosmic light of creation, presently obscured by deep grey haze that softens the landscape around me. The shedding of leaves is like a bowing before the creative authority - a recognition that submission to the winter is a price to pay for the beauty and wonder of the life of the year past. A relaxation of energy, as if an exhalation of breath before the biting of the forthcoming winter.

Slowly, from the revealed branches, whispers of colour descend to the silent earth. The gentle chatter of leaves in the cool breeze is the only movement. Taller branches sway almost imperceptively.

Be still, like my companions.

A ladybird: the first of many that I'll see today enjoying the autumnal warmth and later sunshine. I hear a distant skylark, crows and nearby a wren, a flock of tits and pheasants.

Be still like my companions.

I sit and wait, how different to the intenseness of the digital world that shapes our lives. There, energy produces the light of display screens through which we interact. Here, light produces the embodied energy of the wood with whom I interact. In the ten or so minutes that I have sat here little has changed. A subtle change of light perhaps. A new fallen leaf on the ground before me perhaps. Yet the same time passing on a tv screen would have thrown a multitude of mesmerising images towards me. Here, the millions of leaves are my pixels.

Dreams in the landscapes - the words that came to me just as I approached this place to write - seem a little out of place. And yet here in this landscape I can have dreams. Dreams that are just as valid as those that technology presents to me. Perhaps it is to do with expectations - resolved and unresolved, surprises, discoveries - dreams can be formed in both worlds. You have to shift your perspectives and expectations. Dreams are about taking hold of the imagineable and creating reality. Perhaps the tress can do this as much as a computer screen can. I wonder if they know that?

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Radnor Forest Willows

I have to stop. I am unable to go on. It seems as if this place has forced me to stand in its presence. I have cycled through a large area of conifer plantation in the Radnor Forest on the Welsh border and now I have emerged to a place where the trees uphill to the left of me have been felled and the hill drops steeply down though open fields to the right. Along this edge of the forest road is a row of windswept and almost leafless Goat Willows that stand in contrast to the monoculture around me. They seem an unusual find, and somehow out of place here. 

The cool wind is loud in their branches and I shelter in front of a pile of felled timber and sit and wait. Why was I called to stop here? Somehow my initial thoughts on arriving here were evocative of a cold and frosty winter's day. Is there something of a memory that is tied up here with childhood memories  and my father? Am I just recalling an unidentifiable moment from the long distant past?

I almost feel a heaviness - a pity for these these beautiful trees that have for so long been hidden from the true light of day by towering conifers and which now lie fully exposed to the elements on this east side of the hill. Perhaps it's the sound, the deep song of the branches that ebbs and flows so slowly - like the movements in my qigong. Nature may just be saying "stop, and just observe me". I'm on a long bike ride and haven't much time to stop and dwell in one place. Here I am given the opportunity to do so.

I do some meditation before I get too cold and just absorb into my senses this unexpected special place which others would just pass by. I give thanks to the place.