The cold of the hard wooden bench is seeping through the thin fabric of my jeans, but it doesn’t matter. My feet are slightly damp from wearing not the most practical shoes when walking through the Scottish undergrowth after a rain shower, but it doesn’t matter. My eyes are closed and I am interacting with all five senses. This is the sense of touch. There is also a slight breeze, with still the frost of winter on its wings, which ruffles my hair and brings a chill to my exposed face, but it doesn’t matter. I am feeling.
I open my eyes to experience sight – the one sense I would hate to ever lose. The bright yellow daffodils at my feet sway in the icy breeze, their faces all turned away from me facing the still setting watery sun. The vast expanse of the loch before me shimmers and ripples almost welcoming the movement of the air. Gulls head for home on the distance shores. Directly below are a couple of gulls and oyster catchers with their vibrant red bills, pecking at the mussels that have been exposed by the low tide. They are feasting and not heeding the night time homeward call.
I close my eyes once again to focus and to listen and soak in the approaching night. Far off geese cry their distinctive cry which disturbs the harmony of distant cascading waterfalls. Then it is quiet, silent – eerily so. No voices, no cars, no machines humming – silence, which is then broken by the gulls squabbling over a tasty morsel found in the crystal clear waters gently lapping. But it doesn’t matter – I am listening.
I breathe deeply in – the soft smell of wood smoke which is so pleasing and brings back fond childhood memories of holidays at farm hotels. The slight salty whiff of the tide gently pushing in on the rocks below and a lovely earthy smell of damp rich soil.
In my mouth I can still taste the remains of my dinner, a spanish omelette. The herbs and spices used as well as the long lasting onions. It was a delicious meal served up by one of the hotel chefs.
It is this meal that got me to this spot on the hard wooden bench, the idea to go for a walk and settle my meal before heading off to my room for the night. Absorbing the world I find myself in. I had been jotting down thoughts and ideas the whole week for my blog and they all revolved about why, depression, lack of motivation, the need for routine, stress, worry, loneliness, isolation, time, what is going to happen, what is normal and guilt (we put ourselves under so much unnecessary pressure) …………?? I don’t have the answers and neither I think does anyone else unless they have a crystal ball.
So everyday I am going to remember this moment, when I slowed down and breathed. Because in the end, all the questions, worries and concerns don’t matter. We are alive and we can breathe.