Continuing with my daily reading of The brilliant book of calm: Down to Earth Ideas for Finding Inner Peace in a Chaotic World, today is challenge number 6, “Hugging Trees”.
I’m sorry to say that at first I completely failed. But thankfully my friend Emily, who has now joined me in my mission to be calmer, taught me how to get it right.
I’m normally a huge lover of nature – it was my friend Laura from high school who taught me not to habitually pull leaves off trees and bushes but instead to look at them, to see the colours changing, the various patterns and shapes and sizes. But somehow, whilst Laura had taught me to stop holding my eyes to the floor and to look around, I’ve had my eyes a bit too high up and forgotten to look at the floor as well. Instead of embracing the wider perspective, although improving in my outlook, I’d completely forgotten what’s right beneath my feet. Not good.
As me and Emily headed out through the college doors to find a nearby tree and give it a hug, I
walked trampled across the flowerbed. “What are you doing?!” shouted Emily. I paused. “What do you mean?” Emily: “Well you’re not exactly respecting nature are you? Look down.” I looked down. “Oh right.” I crouched down. “Sorry” I whispered to the plants, grinning. I jumped off and took a look at the flowerbed. “It’s more like a weedbed” I observed. “Completely not the point” said the expression Emily gave me.
I remembered and mumbled a quote from the book we had just read together:
“A weed is no more than a flower in disguise.” - James Russell Lowell
Huh. Indeed I was a failure. Completely rubbish. But now I’ve learned. I’ll get my balance right between looking up and looking down, and give the beauty of nature the respect and attention it deserves. I then, after watching Emily, hugged a tree. Lovely.