So yesterday, I was sitting outside in the sunshine in this very, very worrying time, I looked around me and for a moment, really took in what I was seeing and hearing. This was because of a Facebook page post that my friend had posted about how to keep meditation and mindfulness going during this lock down. She is placing a daily mindfulness task on her Facebook page and will continue until this situation changes.
Today, take 10 mins out of your day to simply listen to the sounds all around you. You can do this at home ,or in the outdoors, wherever you feel comfortable. Turn your phone off, or turn the tv off.
Find a seat, close your eyes and take 5 deep breaths.
Now I want you to just listen to the sounds around you. When you first hear a noise, tune into this noise and bring all your attention to that noise for a few moments. Then leave that noise, and move onto the next noise you hear, once again focus all your attention on this sound for a min or so, then move onto the next noise.
So I did what she said, I stopped, and I listened.
It’s quite amazing how much there is to hear when you just stop and listen. Now I’m very lucky because I live in a fairly Rural area, but all I could hear were the birds, so many different birds singing so many different songs. I also heard the trees, newly in leaf swaying in this beautiful balmy wind that we have here at the moment, and children, I can hear individual children in their gardens singing to themselves and laughing.
After 5 minutes of this, it was hard to open my eyes. I just wanted to sit here and carry on listening; I didn’t want to stop as it’s amazing what you can hear, I was so surprised at all the different noises, I was expecting cars and TVs and motorbikes going past on the mountain but no, it was just beautiful sounds of spring arriving.
So with that in mind, I got my more chunky wheelchair out of the garage, grabbed P by the arm and off we set to look at some more nature.
We are so lucky that where we live there is a little wooded area that belongs to the community. It had fallen into disrepair and overgrowth for years but in the last few years a very enthusiastic group of volunteers have come together to form a Woodland Trust and they have been bringing it back to its original beauty. Now this feat has been nothing short of miraculous. They have turned an overgrown area with no paths of any kind left to a lovely Wooded area with clearly marked paths that are flat and gravelled so that most people with wheelchairs, pushchairs, buggies, scooters can use them as somewhere for their daily fresh air.
This area used to be a quarry. Some of the volunteers remember the quarry as it was and a place that they played as children, and remembered the paths that were here before. This has led the volunteers to find those paths and recreate them, bring them back to life and ready to be used by not only locals, but for anyone who wants to use them. It is quite amazing to see what they have done and I was so grateful to each and everyone of them for opening up a space that I can use and enjoy.
Now obviously it wasn’t just for me, it’s for the whole community but I was so thrilled to see that the paths were on the whole, accessible for wheelchair users. The gates are wide enough and whilst the paths are made of gravel, they have been flattened so are accessible to most. So it’s definitely an area that I will be going back to, hopefully as much as I can until this social distancing system is changed.
I’m really hoping that full lockdown isn’t necessary as for many disabled people, leaving the house to go anywhere is often the only time of the day, the week that they are able to get out and about. I know that many are worrying about the access for carers in this difficult time regarding personal protection equipment, gloves, aprons etc and also that many of their places are simply now closed. Volunteer transport is also closed so for many a simple path around a wooded area may be the only type of outside activities that could be necessary. I seriously hope that people will listen to the guidelines so that the total lockdown isn’t necessary.
But who knows eh? I’ve got my fingers and my toes closed and we will just have to see. For now, stay safe, follow the guidelines and stay healthy. 💕🌈💕