I love going for walks. I’ve been restricted to walking for 15 minutes a day with PGP in pregnancy and I’ve never felt less active! We’re also still in a lockdown here in Ireland which means we’re restricted to staying withing 5km of our homes. That might not seem too bad, but most of my favourite walks are outside my 5k. I’m very fortunate to live close to some lovely wooded areas, and near some lovely walks by the water. These have all been pretty much out of reach for me over the past few weeks due to the restrictions and I’ve really found myself craving being in nature.
Today however, I went to my local park and, in an effort to keep myself socially distanced, I went off the beaten track and walked through a field. I’ve lived in this town my entire life and I thought I’d explored most of it, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a new little trail for myself. I’d been staying away from the park because I’d been told it was extremely busy, full of people at most hours of the day. The stillness and solitude I found on this new trail today was mesmerizing. I stood still for a good five minutes listening to the birdsong breaking the silence. I really felt the magic of experiencing something – or in this case, somewhere – new for the first time. Beginners Mind.
Although the landscape is still haunted by the echos of winter, there is still much beauty to be found. Regardless of the time of year, spending time in nature is an antidote for stress and I always find that I am much more calm and relaxed after being in nature. Living in a busy city is something that I often find quite draining. I find that being in nature is healing, soothing, and grounding. Spending time in nature is something that I really cannot wait to do more of when the restrictions lift. I also hope that I will be able to get out and about in nature as much as possible with my little one when s/he arrives. Note to self: Get a Baby Carrier!
Finding the walk made me think of how much I’ve been focusing on mindfulness lately. Finding the new walk made my walk a far more mindful experience. It gave everything a new perspective. It also made me realise that, no matter how well you know something, there are always hidden secrets waiting to be discovered. I was delighted to find something new, something different, and to find myself completely immersed in the experience.