As part of my research and gathering of material for my new course, I set about experiencing my personal connection with nature at different times of the day. It was my intention to record the sounds emerging from nature as the sun rises and to experience within the scope of what surrounded me.
To do this, I needed to be up before dawn and immerse myself in mindfulness, as nature awakened with the sunrise. This was not easy of course. Like many I claim not to be an early morning person. However, I am aware that is a limitation I give myself and I could retrain it, if I tried harder.
I awoke naturally at 4.44am a few days ago and it was still dark. In fact it was just ‘still.’ There was no birdsong, no foxes barking and our donkeys were still silent. Here was my perfect opportunity.
Grabbing the sound recorder I headed outside and began to record. As that happened, I sat and encouraged a mindful state of being. This awoke my senses dramatically and expanded my awareness of the environment. It was still dark and the sun was due to rise for another hour, yet I felt safe, alert and a sense of being at one with everything, during this time.
I sensed how powerful the silence of nature is. Away from my physical awareness, foxes, badgers, owls and other nocturnal creatures were all still active. The birds had yet to sing.
The power of nature’s silence felt overwhelming, yet not to be disturbed or denied. I momentarily acknowledged this, yet didn’t analyse it. I was no longer aware of the time, the day or regular everyday thoughts. I was fully aware and engaged in life – of all life and was engulfed by its web of connections, without any words or mental analysis. You become immensely alive, so as not to express it in these moments by thought or word. To be still with it, yet energetic in every cell is a rarity we often deny ourselves as humans.
After some time, I heard a solitary bird whistle twice. In retrospect it was as if it was an early alarm call. Then there was nothing but the power of everything, until the light changed slightly. At that very point the birds started singing, each with a unique song.
The power or silence is unmistakable and beyond verbal language. It thrills, it energises and it anticipates without sharing any secrets of what is to come. So it is.