The fullness of silence


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We are now into our third week here and are really enjoying our little bit of countryside. Being surrounded by nature as we are up here, is wonderful. There is something about being around green fields and trees that promotes well-being. It is now well researched and documented that being connected with nature has huge benefits to our physical and mental health and that modern, high-tech, nature-deficient can be harmful. My own experience is that being in nature is calming, healing, grounding and uplifting.

I have found a little spot in the garden where I like to sit and listen to the natural world around me. The birdsong is beautifully uplifting. At times, if there is no wind, I can hear the birds munching on the peanuts on the feeders and their wings fluttering in flight. If the sun is shining, there are plenty of bees buzzing around the lavenders. In the early evening, I hear rustling in the flower beds and the grass, probably mice. In the distance, there may be a tractor chugging along. It is hay making season so there is a faint sound of machinery hard at work. Some of the sheep in the fields around us give some low-pitch baas, while other bleat highly. Occasionally, in the morning, if the wind is blowing in the right direction, I hear the distant sound of a train in the valley below. When there is enough wind, the turbine makes a rhythmic swishing noise that is both soothing and satisfying, knowing that wind energy is being generated for our own consumption.

As my awareness of the natural world around me increases and as I develop a sharper, finer attunement with it, I also connect with me and my inside world. I deeply listen to me. I become aware of any thoughts, feelings and sensations. I observe them without becoming attached to them and in doing so, I feel grounded, energised, resourced and content. My soul nourished, I feel well. All is well. This meditative quality of listening to both the world outside of me and the one inside of me is, to me, mindfulness, with its rich, health-giving properties. I am filled with gratitude to live in this marvellous green spot and have all this at my disposal.

I keep expecting to hear the familiar noises of Salisbury – ambulances (living as we did, close to both the ambulance station and the hospital, there were many!), horns and sirens, traffic, car doors, neighbours (and we lived on a quiet street!)... but nothing like that.

The silence up here is unspoilt and beautiful. It is deep and rich, not empty but full.