Listening to the wind in the breeze and embracing the winds of change

I will spend the first ten minutes of every day outside

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Week two’s experiment was going to be interesting spending the first ten minutes of every day outside. At this time of year when the mornings are dark, chilly and sometimes wet there was a small bit of me thinking this experiment would have been better and more enjoyable in the warmer months rather than the colder ones of late December. But like all the experiments Chris had instore for me and the other bloggers I was more than happy to throw myself into it. My eager excitement was for all to see as I started it a week to the day after my first experiment began but this was no ordinary day, it was Christmas Day.

This experiment would have an impact on my cosy morning routine of getting out of bed around 8am and sitting in the living room with Bobby and drinking my one cup of strong coffee a day. I usually have a quick peak to see if I’ve had any e-mails from anyone and check up on one or two other websites that I’m interested in. Bobby’s there because he knows as soon as the coffee’s gone he gets fed. Labradors are clever like that. My routine is always a quality time for me. Sarah is still asleep tucked up in a warm bed and Bobby is awake and alert and always brings a smile to my face in the morning. We play-fight, he rolls on his back and wriggles around on his back using his paws to push himself away from the sofa and in doing so he does a full circle. He is pure entertainment all by himself.

During this time I can hear the sound of birdsong floating through my living room window. The noise from the roads is still quiet. Unfortunately over the next half hour the noise from the roads picks up and fades the sound of birdsong. After my coffee, play-time with Bobby, feeding him and taking him outside for his early morning thing I’m ready for the day ahead. It’s a simple routine and takes me an hour. Week two’s experiment was certainly going to change my routine.

Christmas Day arrived. I woke up, got dressed, went outside and took in a deep breath and the following was the sounds and feelings and observations on this morning…

The soft aroma of wood burning emanating from a nearby house slipped into my nostrils and brought my smell sense to life. The sound of black birds cried out awakening my ears, they sounded distressed. Small birds were more soothing as they tweeted in the trees. The sounds of cars in the near distance making haste juxtaposed the birdsong. I was aware of the gentle tapping of morning dew or possibly rain droplets falling to the ground. The sound was distinct. The angry cry of the black birds now seemed exotic. The slight chill on my hands was now opening and closing my pores. The wood burning, the birds chirping and the still of the atmosphere felt like I was tapping into old father time. But alas the moment was fleeting as a neighbour nearby scrunched pebbles underfoot in their driveway before the clunking of car doors and the rasp of their car screeched away. Left in the wake was the birds chirping in almost mockery of the neighbour who was in a rush on Christmas morning to be somewhere else. Then in the still that remained, in a gap between two walls a figure scuttled along in a shady manner that refocused my attention. Was it a fox? Or the giant badger Sarah had told me about? Or was it a cat? Two gleaming eyes flashed back onto me. It had noticed me. It was a cat, a big cat. We shared glances but then it hurried off up and over a wall. Birdsong returned accompanied by the sound of a wood pigeon, I was aware of the tapping of rain and how observant I’d been.

That morning I noticed I had embraced nature and brought it back indoors with me. It’s a wonderful feeling but disappeared too quickly as my busy morning preparing the pub for Christmas Day arrived in the forefront of my mind. I felt I’d made a connection but only too briefly.

The second day of the experiment there was no wood burning in the air as I stepped outside but I was more aware of what I was doing, a mindfulness. Friendly birdsong filled the air and as I sat and tuned in to what was around me I noticed something I hadn’t heard the previous day; the creaking of branches in the trees. The birdsong was sweeter today. Unfortunately the sound of traffic rumbled along in the distance. Nearer the birds were in full song, like a choir dispatching in different trees, their trees, their homes. Calmness prevailed. The difference between the two worlds of nature and traffic was cosmic and I was on the side of nature. For me nature would always come out on top. Birdsong was beckoning me, it was a beautiful moment. Then the slight breeze moved upward and the creaking of trees brought me back. A dog’s muffled bark from a nearby house was heard. Seagulls so far from the coast forewarn me of showers to come. Realising they were so far from home it made me think where home was for me and what was ‘home’. My thoughts shifted to the people and incarnations I’d been as the seagulls circled. I felt poetical.

Unlike the stress and strains of Christmas Day I carried this good focus for a few hours and imagined what it would be like to harness the magic of early morning and carry it throughout the day. Was I reawakening some old forgotten magic in me?

On day three I woke up early. I sat in the dark. I knew outside was still dark because there was no glint of dawn shining through the bedroom curtains. I lay there for a bit before getting up. As I walked from the bedroom to the living room I heard the sound of birdsong breaking the silence, it was loud but brought an immediate smile to my face and stayed with me for the rest of the morning. It was clear outside was black and I didn’t see the point in going straight out and sitting in the dark tuning myself into nature. I may have been wrong. I may have been missing my routine, who knew? But I decided to wait for dawn before venturing outside. This gave me time to think more about my relationship with nature and the energy and magic you can get from taping into her.

Nature is all around, it is a constant, it feels and touches out to you. I believe you can tap into her magic anywhere at any time but this is a part of our own magic that we have lost as we have developed as a species and in many ways we are controlled and driven by technology rather than being one with the planet. I thought about the times it has been easier to tap into her beauty and circumstance, time and place do affect this. I suppose the whole point of this experiment is for us to find that magic once more.

Magic in the shape of Bobby followed me into the living room and he wriggled around the floor on his back. When he stopped his tail pounded the floor inviting me to play. When I didn’t join him because I was having some deep contemplation he jumped on the sofa and spent the next twenty minutes looking at me like I’d done him wrong, whilst birdsong continued and beckoned me outside. It was still too dark I told myself. Bobby stared at me intently. It was then that I decided to take him out with me and see what all the fuss was about.

Walking out to birdsong made me feel alive like I was back with friends. We watched the sky turn from black to electric blue revealing different cloud shapes and colours in the sky whilst a cacophony of bird sounds rang through the morning as if signalling the break of dawn. It was beautiful. I thought that Mother Nature’s magic was there for everybody to see and to feel but they needed to find the key to unlock the magic inside them. And I needed to keep the key and not misplace it again. After witnessing this magic I felt sleepy but content that I’d witnessed something wonderful even if it was just the arrival of dawn once more. For the rest of the day I felt energised.

By day four I had already become aware of the benefits of taping into nature and knew it was there if I needed it. Nature after all was an energy source and the best time to catch her was the breaking of a new day when she comes alive. The contrast from the still of night to the wakening of dawn is palpable. I knew if I needed that boost in the morning or I needed to tap into the beating pulse of the Earth to renew my strength in the magic we once knew but have forgotten then I knew where to go. By the fourth day I had already made plans to embrace it more in the morning. There was no way I could make a contract with the magic to tap into her every day because that was being unrealistic but I knew she was there for me and the benefits she would bring. On this fourth morning I ventured back outside and realised I’d found her again.

Outside I was greeted with birdsong but my focus was tuned to a beautiful pink sky to my left and a pastel-faded moon to my right, both fighting for my attention and affection. Was there no end to the magic? I realised then that I WOULD make a contract with Mother Nature and spend the first ten minutes of every day outside in her magical presence. Furthermore I wold spend the rest of the day preaching about her beauty and magic.

Mark Cuddy

Someone who learned to wake up


Go to the profile of Jacqui
almost 6 years ago
How lovely Mark. I feel so peaceful after reading this!