How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then to rest afterward – Spanish Proverb
I turned 80 recently. My wife and had I spent weeks, trying to decide where to go, and what exciting things to do, in order to celebrate and enjoy yet another memorable milestone in my life.
In the end I decided on a simple, peaceful and profoundly moving experience. Looking at trees.
Visiting the grounds of an ancient Castle situated a short drive away from our home in Kent, UK. We sat on an old wooden bench for quite a while, gazing up at the panorama of old trees all around us, filling our field of vision. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping gloriously. A tiny robin darted in and out, all around us and sat by my feet, almost like a messenger of peace.
Slowly ambling around, taking in the trees, the flowers, the formal gardens, the fields, the ancient stone walls. Feeding our minds, bodies and spirits with the joy of just doing nothing.
Taking time out to just enjoy life. Feeling gratitude for nature in all her beauty, being grateful for just being alive. We even treated ourselves to a rare ice-cream.
I was reminded of an old poem that has always been a favourite of mine, written in 1911 by W.H.Davies, the Welsh poet.
I often meditate on his opening lines “What is this life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare?”
In our mad, frenetic modern world, full of haste, violence and stress, perhaps too few of us stop and meditate on the awesome beauty and wonder of nature all around us. For me personally, especially as a retired Christian Monk, I see heaven, I see God in every blade of grass, each perfect leaf of a tree.
Countless people suffer stressed-out lives. I have also known the sting of stress. Opening our eyes and ears to the beauty of nature all around us, helps us to slow down, take notice of the present moment and gain a little perspective. Trees radiate peace, not manic rush and stress.
Learn from the trees to pause and meditate. Ask yourself the poet’s question “What is this life?”
May I wish you lots of love and peace in your life?
P.S. I’d love to learn how you find peace; please share your comments with the rest of us.
P.P.S Feel free to share this post with a friend.