Many years ago when I was a student at Stirling University, some of us would love to abandon studies and go up Dumyiat Hill behind the University in drizzly cold weather – it was a most excellent way to clear the brain-overload fog that hit around exam time. We called it going for a Head-Shower!
I don’t live near any mountains any more, but I still find that being outside in the fresh air is a great way to clear my head and just be.
So I love my morning dog walks (well most mornings – yesterday when the dog managed to pull the lead out of my frozen fingers and run off after something a lot faster than her and get herself lost from us for over an hour was a lot less fun).
Even when it is still dark out, we have had some amazing sights – the full moon over the cold and frosty fields, slowly setting as the sky pinks with the dawning sun in the opposite direction. The slow change of light from pitch black to deep grey and then a hint of orangy pink tinging the sky. Even a cloudy drizzly morning has its moments as my face revels in the moist air. Sometimes the owls hooting madly – getting in their final calls before daylight arrives. One morning they were so loud and frequent, they almost sounded like the gibbons I used to hear when living in Thailand!
Early light is stunning and we see roe deer most days. A buzzard lives in the fields and I often see it perching on fences looking for food or digging grubs or worms from recent mole-casts. Some mornings I hear the rattatat-tat of the woodpecker and the other day had to giggle when 6 squirrels were running across the path and over fences less than 15m from my dog who was straining at her leash. But even she was bemused when 2 of the squirrels ran towards her to within 3m before turning away and going off into the woods! Squirrel brains are on nookie at this time of year, though they would be wise to be aware of danger too or else they will not live to be parents!
It was divinely frosty this morning and I just had to take some photos to share with you.
I live no more than 25 miles from London, within the greenbelt and the roar of traffic never ends (though squint your ears and perhaps it is the roar of water over a waterfall!). It is one of the most densely populated areas in the UK, house prices are ridiculous and yet, because it is greenbelt, there are swathes of woodland, farmland, heathland and wild places tucked in between villages and urban conurbations.
Increasingly, I realise, taking time for yourself is not selfish. It is necessary. You need to recharge, to replenish, to freshen your mind, to clear your thoughts, to just be.
I wish you YOUR time, in places that you feel at peace and at one with yourself.