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Look up child

Self-Reliant Groups facilitator Laura Walton focuses on the importance of mindfulness in the last few weeks of lockdown

Mindfulness is all about appreciating the moment and doing what it takes to stay in the moment. We learn to hold back our thoughts and train them to sit and wait while our minds settle and are still. No more thinking of all the things we need to do by this evening. Taking a break from those anxious what ifs about tomorrow or next week, those worries about our children and their children, relatives, neighbours, situations which we just can’t fix. It is about stopping and looking and listening, even smelling, tasting and touching.
 
Whilst walking in the park this week with a friend, I caused her to stop and instructed her to look and stop talking. She has been shielding and working from home very reluctantly. Instead of being swamped by children with their noise and clamouring for attention, she has gazed through her window, sat at a desk,in front of her computer and often in silence for most of the last year. Every week we would walk and she would talk, downloading the week indoors as we passed impromptu illegal gatherings of drummers, football matches with supposedly no spectators, the guy cutting hair under a tree over near the closed tennis courts. When I realised she was going to talk her way straight past a huge bank of early daffodils and late snowdrops I had to redirect her energy and attention to something beautiful, wild, resilient and resistent to the drammatic changes that we have all had to face this last year.She continued breathing but stopped still.
 
Despite the upheavals and U turns in our lives, all those sleeping bulbs needed was time at a certain temperature to activate growth and produce a fine display to capture and hold the frenetic activity of my friend’s mind mid download. And she was still and quiet and smiling.
 
How much more beautiful do the blossom trees look this year? Can we take time in these last few weeks before Boris sets us free again to walk and stop and look. Can we look up? Instead of leaving our footprints on the white blossom petals spilt on the pavement, let’s lift our eyes to those gloriously decorated branches. Our worlds have become so small over the last few months and our horizons merely as far as the nearest loaf of bread and bottle of milk. It’s definitely time to look up and be reminded of the vastness of the sky, the knowledge of who is in control and the opportunities that still lie out there for us

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