Admiring the elegant green needles on this pine branch and the
fluffy fresh snow,
my thoughts turn to how it is so easy to fall into a pattern of a frenetic
lifestyle in the fast lane.
Taking the time to notice how nature creates beautiful still life
arrangements, like these seedpods, leaves and moss fallen after the last snowfall.
Slow living is all about taking the time to savour and fully engage with life.
Just as snowfall slows down nature.
Mindful walking brings our attention to small details.
It makes us more aware and connects us to the present moment.
I noticed these beautiful reflections as I meandered where my steps took me
on my walk.
This scene made me think of the seaside. The wet sands,
the receding waves leaving shiny reflections of the blue sky.
In fact, this scene was created by melting snow on a country road.
We notice more when we slow down.
We take the time to see the splendour in the simplest things.
If I had been rushing along, preoccupied in my thoughts, I wouldn't have noticed
the shadow of a tree on a house as I walked up the hill away from the town centre
to be closer to nature.
Further up the hill, I saw how the trees were reflected in the windows of this wooden house.
Looking down, I paused to enjoy the sight of this tiny feather joined by a fallen leaf
on the paving stones. The naturally artistic arrangement was certainly worthy of my pause!
Finally I get up higher where I can see tall trees in all their majestic winter beauty.
This beautiful old oak with gnarled and twisting branches
stretching out to embrace the blue of the early February sky.
The days are getting longer
and all my senses are awakened as I hear the first birdsong of the year.
Sometimes we cannot get out into nature, but we can bring some into our home.
I picked these Chinese Lanterns from a pot on my balcony.
I marvelled at the lacy patterns and structure on their surface.
Noticing how abstract art can be created by gazing at ice-cubes in a bowl.
Some shiny marbles near the window drew attention to themselves in the light.
A tiny narcissus flower in a pot in my home is just coming into bloom.
I like to take the time to enjoy the beauty in shape, texture and colour.
I know that for many people, life is hectic.
The fact of going out to work each day and constantly looking at our watches
is all part of life in the fast lane
and often after work there are meals to prepare and children's needs
to be seen to.
But it would be so beneficial to take just a few moments, if we cannot manage more.
To include perhaps 15 minutes in our day to just to be
instead of constantly conjugating the verb 'to do'.
Early mornings can be used to bring calmness into our lives
Deep breathing exercises do wonders to relieve stress.
Getting up earlier to enjoy peaceful moments
before the rush of the day begins.
I have been meaning to have one day a week when I switch off everything.
That means my computer, my telephone, the television and the radio.
One day and one evening of the week where I can enjoy
the simplicity and quiet without all these distractions and noise.
It will be my goal during this month of February.
Do any of you offer yourselves this special day of peace during your week?
In the meantime, I welcome the quiet moments, going about my everyday occupations
slowly and mindfully (most of the time)!
This includes the preparation and the eating of a meal
and sitting down at the table to eat.
Immersing ourselves in nature , especially for us town-folk, is so beneficial.
Going to the park or taking a bus out of the city
into the peaceful environment to enjoy the trees, the plants and listen to birdsong.
At the end of each day, it's good to observe how I have lived this day.
Have I been rushing from one thing to another
or have I taken the time to slow down and really live
the precious moments as they constantly arise and pass?
It's never too late to finish the day with
a little personal time to unwind.
This doesn't mean constantly checking our mobile phones
or switching on the television!
The Slow Movement is being mentioned more and more.
Are we really listening?