A beautiful day. Thick snow on the ground with a sunny blue sky. I dress warmly as the annoying quote “there’s no such thing as bad weather only inappropriate clothing” springs to mind. I step out into the cold, aware and excited by child-like feelings and the novelty of my new surroundings. One foot in front of the other, knowing where I’m going. I sense a feeling of joy as I look around at the blanket of snow making the familiar seem new again.
But as I climb the icy path my focus shifts to the steps in front of me. Breathless, like working in a recession, I am no longer aware of my surroundings or direction. I have no capacity or will to lift my head – even to see a clearer way just beside me.
It’s not until I reach the top that I can pause to catch my breath and breathe a sigh of relief. And in this stable place I can now stride forward looking up and down and around – reflecting on surviving the recent challenge and basking in the the success of where I’ve been, the path I’m taking and on where I’m going.
But, another ‘but’, as I start the descent. It may have been a struggle on the way up but now it’s one careful step at a time with self preservation front of mind. And no time to look around at the stunning views. What a waste. If I can’t look around whilst I’m going down at least I can stop on what was a grassy mound. A thought: ice skaters don’t move forward step by step, they embrace the flow so why can’t I? And on this last stage I move faster, still gently and still in control, safely – being part of the way forward.
As I reach the foothills I hear the high pitched tweet of a bird enjoying the day. “Sounds like a blackbird to me. I will Google ‘birdsongs’ when I get home to check.” “Or not.” I thought as I stopped at the hawthorn tree, causing the bird to silence. I could see no source of the sound until as I waited the call started again. And with my stillness, I saw a beautiful little bird with yellow and black markings. Beautiful and serene – what a treat.
But what has this got to do with conscious walking or even conscious business ? Everything I thought.