Monday, March 10, 2008

Walk on the wild side

I have just been for my daily bit of exercise, walking round the lake near our house. It was a stormy night and there has been a lot of rain but I thought I had picked a calm moment. How wrong I was! As I reached the lake the rain began again, driven by the wind in sheets into my face. I had a waterproof coat and sturdy boots but no hat or umbrella and was soaked in minutes. I could have gone back but at that point I decided to go on and try to enjoy the walk for what it was - and I did enjoy it.

One of the things I am trying to do in retirement is be more present in the moment and I took this opportunity as a sort of spiritual exercise as well as a physical one. The lake and the trees around it always lift my spirits and they did so just as much in the rain as in the sunshine. I enjoyed the pattern of the raindrops on the water and the colour of the branches made dark by the rain. I gave thanks that I can still walk without difficulty and feel the wet and the cold.

Now I am back in my warm study I can give thanks for that too and I am remembering some lines from a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins.

What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet:
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.

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