This has been an interesting week, but today I’m emptying my mind of all that’s happened and all that might. Trying to anyway. To give it peace. Give it a rest. I used to meditate regularly, sitting more or less still for up to an hour most days. These days I prefer to meditate walking, to the rhythm of my heart. Mostly around familiar places in Liverpool. But today my being alone here gives me the chance to walk silently around a place I now know as well as Liverpool. A place I could walk around in the dark. Today I will walk around listening for the silence.
Reaching tiny Thurstaston village, I can smell that the grass has just been cut before I turn the corner.
Reaching the lanes, growth is not quite as dense as when we last walked here, late in August. Things are dying back.
And I find my mind drifting to thoughts of dying back, and therefore to mortality.
And wondering if this might be the place. The place for my ashes.
Then bringing myself back to the present. Realising I’ve drifted off into thinking on thoughts brought about by the course Sarah went on last week, learning to be a funeral celebrant.
I stop in the wood for lunch, eating the bread and the eggs and the chocolate I’ve brought.
And I’m distracted again…’the baby awakes’. Singing ‘Away in a manger’ and thinking people will soon be doing Christmas again, I’m soon back musing on the passing of time and the dying back of autumn and Halloween in a few weeks time.
Until the salty smell and the faintly cold breeze blowing in from the estuary brings me back to now. I put my extra top on, more layers with me today than for the last few months, and walk out to the estuary’s edge.
And it’s here I write most of this post. Usually I write posts when I get home. Straight into my computer. Today it’s that old way of writing. With a pen and paper, and in the place the writing’s about. Imagine that.
And writing, it’s like I hear me saying very clearly to myself:
‘Don’t forget now. For all this autumnal musing on mortality, don’t forget now. Death will come, and death gives life its value. But death is only one moment. So don’t miss all these moments of now. This light in your eyes, this wind in your hair, this life, this day. Don’t forget now.’
Half an hour later I’m down on the shore.
And soon I reach some rocks where we often sit. So I sit. Thinking maybe I’ll have a read.
And soon I’m back in the car, back in the busyness, back in the what next? And I realise how much I need and love these quiet times. How much I need and love The Shining Shore.