Saturday, May 26, 2012

It's a funny world.

We got up early and went for a jog through the forest this morning - pause for more information re the word "jog": for us it means lots of gasping, legs that often feel like they have 20kg weights attached to them, wondering whether to worry about that disturbing ache in the knee, or whether it might be easier to breathe if one stared ahead instead of at the ground! But here's the good bit: this "jog" is interspersed with moments where we stop, perhaps to cross a road where we often pray for a stream of passing traffic to appear, or just to marvel at the absolutely, awe-inspiring, gobsmackingly beautiful thing which we call nature. The trees have become a gorgeous umbrella of shade over tracks softened by leave mould, which is far kinder to older feet than concrete or tarmacked roads. Young deer are often seen staring at these two strange people people panting past, red squirrels scurry up trees (probably sniggering beneath their fur) to warn their friends of two wearied road warriors and rabbits hurry into the ascending undergrowth of ferns and briar. It gets me every time - the glory of the whole thing.

Then I sit and look at my lap top to "catch up" on events in medicine and the world at large: and it's depressing. There is such a huge gap between reality and our perception of it in urban society with all our needs and demands for "this and that". One thing nature teaches is that as well as the beauty of it, it's not always pretty, things can go badly wrong and it is fragile: and yet it is constantly changing and constantly renewing itself. Whilst in our "advanced" societies we seem to want to achieve a permanent state of perfection NOW and for pain to be banished for ever.

So my thought for the weekend is for all of you who can, go for a walk in the park/garden/forest/beach/desert and reflect on how much you have already and be thankful for it: accept that you can't hold onto "now"; that to fully engage in life means being flexible and that suffering happens and you will need to be ready to deal with it. Tough times will come - that's the way the world works - but it's how we respond to those tough times that marks us out as the genuine article ... a human being.


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Marie said...

Thank you for sharing your reflections and wisdom. It is a source of joy for this American Suburbanite to hear perspective from other generations and places on the globe. Off to go take a walk in the "wilderness" of Suburbia now.

Mariodacatsmom said...

I used to be a walker - about 3 miles a day. Now, of course,I'm unable to do that and miss is dearly. To me there is nothing more relaxing that taking a walk and observing the things around you. It's even better if you can take a walk in the country rather than city, but city will do if that's the only thing you have access to.