How often do we take time to go off somewhere special. Whether it’s the beach, the countryside or just time out in your own back garden. But do you really connect with your surroundings on a deeper level and leave your thoughts and worries behind?
Sure, we may appreciate the warm day, or perhaps the aroma of freshly cut grass. But to take time to be part of nature and stop everything, even your thoughts. Now thats a whole different experience!
On a recent trip to the beach on a beautiful hot summers day, I slipped off my shoes when I reached the warm sand. It moved beneath my feet and I stopped and focused on just that wonderful sensation. Then, the contrasting sensation of the breeze on my skin gave me goosebumps! Any thoughts that came into my mind, I acknowledged and let them go for another time.
The sea was calm and lapped gently along the shore line. Still feeling the sand beneath my feet, I focused on the sound of the sea. I observed the long stretch of beach ahead of me – golden sand, sweeping dunes and deserted of people! I felt this connection with nature like a living meditation!
As I slowly descended from the dunes, I felt my feet sink into the sand and leave deeper footprints behind me. At that moment, a feeling of sadness swept over me. There was a set of footprints missing. Our beloved dog Hoover passed away on the last day of May. This was by far his favourite place to be in the whole world and being here without him brought a well of emotion and tears to my eyes. But I have been releasing this grief for several weeks now and I never quite know where or when it’s going to bubble to the surface! But that’s ok, it’s good to cry.
A special place with memories that for the moment still trigger a feeling of loss. But that pain eases with time. We did laugh and reminisce on this day about the great times we had over the years – sliding down the sand dunes on body boards with Hoover tucked in behind with the biggest smile on his face! Him diving into the sea to swim with the family, and just that wonderful companionship he gave all of us. And how lucky were we to have had this wonderful dog in our lives for 16 years!
At the end of a spectacular day of sunbathing and swimming, I headed back through the fields where I met a heard of horses grazing and sheltering from the warm evening sun. Again, emptying my mind and holding a space, a moment, for these wonderful creatures, one came to connect with me. His presence, his smell, his energy became the only thing in my consciousness.
People often ask me how do I communicate with animals. The first thing I do is get present, like I did on this special day. It takes practice every day but what a joy it is to do it in nature with these wonderful mindful creatures!
Goodbye my wonderful friend Hoover. You are always in my heart. Unlike your footprints that have faded in the sand, your vibrant energy and love will stay with me forever.
Dedicated to Hoover 2001 – 2017