The newest instalment of the 500 Words of Wild Wisdom blog series comes from a wonderfully creative and sensitive soul, Monica Sabolla Gruppo. Today she offers us a combination of inspiring words and breathtaking photographs of an autumnal Nature experience that I hope will make your heart pause and draw in the Earth’s beauty and sacredness.
500 Words of Wisdom from Monica Sabolla Gruppo
A wonderful, chilly Autumn day with a blue blue sky. Nature is at its peak of beauty, performing her flamboyant “Au-revoir” show before the Winter slumber. Autumn in England is a season of deep sighs.
In the late morning, I jump in the car with a well- stocked rucksack, camera, a basket on the passenger seat, and my hiking boots- I’m going on my regular self- care excursion. I pretend not to be excited- that’s an ordinary practice for me, a well- known road and destination. I drive slowly, savoring the drive; after all, the pleasure is in the journey and not the destination. But when I spot the sign from a distance, my heart starts beating faster… and I stop pretending. I am conscious of the reason for that excitement, and I gladly let it build up a fire in my heart.
I turn right to take the back roads; I drive slowly- slowly, along solitary, single-track country lanes winding among the fields, spotted with wild asters, cardoons and berries, birds and bunnies (and the occasional deer), and finally park under the ancient oak tree. I have discovered this unspoilt place by chance, in a moment of my life when I had to cope with doubt, fears and worries, and so I used to take a drive to nowhere, anywhere, for the sole purpose of listening to the inner Guidance.
Here I am, once again, my mind quiet and my heart full, yet thirsty for more of that bright light that comes from within. As soon as I lift up the latch and walk in, I instantly come alive, and feel embraced in Nature’s warm hug. The steep bridleway goes up the hill, and sometimes I prefer to keep my hike brief and just walk across the meadows, embellished by colored fungi at this time of year, and encircled in generous bushes and trees of all kind. But today, I’m going to climb it.
I let my steps full of wonder be my prayer, my rhythmic breath in the fresh air be my meditation. As I climb, I notice the details of the ground, the colours, the textures, the lights and shadows. Stupendous fallen leaves, pheasant’s feathers. I’m not alone here. I smell the scents in the air- earthy, smoky, or pungent of manure. A well known song in the distance and a wing’s beat make me feel comforted, like in the presence of a dear, old friend. I am fully present now, and if my thought starts wandering, I gently bring myself back to the present moment. This moment is bliss, full of magic and wonder and lessons to learn. I’m willing to learn.
Finally here I am, on the top of “my” hill. As I observe my feet moving softly, one after another, caressing the jewelled grass, I feel like I was born anew. On the very top, I stop and turn around, gaze at the immense vastness in front of me, deeply feeling that I’m part of it. I feel its astounding Beauty and infinite Abundance wash over me; I breathe, and take it all in. The emotional tension is palpable, tears rolling on my face. I feel an immense sense of gratitude for this all, for being able to feel this all, and I renew my intention to be instrument of it. My heart reaches out for the Universe and all the living beings in it, and for one instant, I feel suspended between time and space.
I don’t really know how long I stay up there, I don’t wear a watch anymore. After a picnic on the grass, some journalling, sketching and pictures taken, I slowly descend to the valley. Deer running, pheasants surprising me with exciting parabolic flights, tempting blackberries in the hedgerows… I allow to be tempted.
Yet another ordinary day of Wild Wisdom.
Monica is an Artist, Photographer, Stylist and Light Seeker- living, loving and inspiring wholeheartedly. You can find her at http://monicasabollagruppo.com and @frommyenglishcountrydiary on Instagram.