Last week I had a good friend from London tell me that the last time he spent a night out in ‘the wilds’ was nearly a year-and-a-half ago. He also told me that because he lives in the city he never gets out into nature. He said it was different for me with a thousand square kilometres of moorland on my doorstep.
But 95% of the time its not the great open vistas, the breath-taking views from the tops of hills or the raw power of nature that does it for me.
The most precious moments belong to the micro not the macro. My moments of purest ‘presence’ belong in the small places. Nearly anywhere will do but it should to be place in nature that gives me a sense of privacy, is not overlooked or I cannot be ‘spied’, is away from immediate discovery and possesses, maybe, just a single flower. This could be the forgotten-about bottom of the garden or an overgrown corner of the shed down at the allotment. It might be the sun-trapped nook on a flat-pitch roof, sitting in the folds of the trunk of an old oak tree in the park or lying back in the long grass of a playing field. It is these precious, intimate moments that are the ones that make me inhabit the present; the here and now. These are the places and moments that push away my regrets of the past and my fears of the future. These are the moments when nature nourishes and salves the soul.
So, my advice my friend, and anyone who thinks such pleasures are a million miles away from them, is: the true power of nature is all around you. Go spend some time with it. Rejoice in the intimacy and power of its small places and don’t wait a lifetime in the hope of being humbled by its majesty.