Spring is an ideal time to connect with nature, says writer Judy Darley. As we head towards the season, why not take a moment to drift away with this guided visualisation?
At this time of year, dawn starts to come earlier each morning. Open your ears as well as your eyes and as the darkness melts into rich trails of pinks and golds, you may hear the shrill tumbling song of skylarks with their tufted crests, conversational robins and the ribboned litany of song thrushes.
When you emerged from your home, the air was chilly enough that you pulled on a warm jacket and woollens. Now a warming patch of sunshine plays over your face and the nape of your neck. Shrug off your hat and scarf and unfasten your coat to allow the breeze to caress your skin. Crouch down to touch the dew-damp grass, marvelling at the intensity of its greenness.
Now stretch upwards, allowing each muscle to reach and relax. Flex your fingers against the sky as though you might touch the depths of azure blue. Notice the exact light green shade of the young leaves flourishing on tree branches overhead. If you are beneath a hazel or alder, you’ll see cascades of pale tousled catkins.
Perhaps hyacinths are blooming nearby, with their vivid columns of starry flowers and heady scent. Maybe a magnolia’s blushing white goblets have opened between glossy oval leaves, releasing a sweet fragrance brimming with hope for the warm days to come.
Listen to the early bumblebees, tawny mining bees and hairy-footed flower bees exploring their surroundings and seeking a nectar feast after a long winter spent in hibernation. The murmur of their gentle buzz in the cups of crocuses ripples through the air. Maybe a lemon-winged brimstone butterfly drifts by.
Take a deep breath in and release it slowly. Kneel to run your palms over budding petals and pay attention to the invertebrates such as ladybirds shining scarlet on plant shoots and dazzling metallic-striped rosemary beetles. Everything around you draws in the thin heat of the sun’s rays, relishing the season’s growing energy. Watch blackbirds hop down from fences to grab a snack before letting loose a few fluid notes. Other birds to listen and look out for include the tiny wren and the garden warbler. If you remain still and quiet, perhaps a fox will trot past or even a badger sow with her cubs hurrying home to bed.
Sunlight seems intent on painting the perimeters of each living thing to turn it into art, dappling each curl and edge with gold. Pause to mull over the weeks ahead and consider how you can bring the positivity of this moment to each coming day. This is a time to observe and celebrate the small things we’re often too busy to enjoy.
Applaud the golden shock of dandelions and run your fingers over their petal-furred faces. Marvel at the prowess of spiders spinning webs that glint silver amidst lavender stems. Remove your shoes and smile at the cool softness of ground beneath your feet.
Inhale the aroma of sap, leaves, blossoms and earth, tune your ears to rustling, creaking sounds in trees and hedgerows and take in the pleasure offered in each luminous moment of awakening.
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