Chester, England – November 24th to 27th 2013
Initial Thoughts: The Welsh countryside has always been for me a place of utter peace. It is filled with happy memories from my childhood. It is fresh and green. It is winding lanes with tall hedges and stone walls. It is sheep grazing in fields and pheasant spotting out the back window. It is a place to take long, slow, quiet walks and reflect. It is a place to drink hot tea and sit by the fire. It is a place to spend time with family. It is a place to find balance and clarity.
Best Moment: One slightly overcast morning I bundled up in my warm leggings and my waterproof jacket to set off for a walk alone in the countryside. I vaguely remembered the area from my childhood and it is hard to get lost in the gently rolling landscape. I wandered up the nearby hills along the paths surrounded by heather always watching for sheep and their many droppings. As I climbed the gentle slope, my steps slowly fell into time with my deepening breath. The longer I walked, the lighter I felt. The more steps I took, the more my mind cleared. I reached the top and was blessed with a fantastic view of a thousand shades of green. There is only one way to see the countryside – walking, hiking, climbing, strolling, putting one foot in front of the other, and wanting to keep going.
Take Away: I love cities – the diversity, the culture, the speed, the energy. But I’m finding lately that I crave the countryside. My heart yearns for the open expanses, the clean air, the multitude of colours. My soul craves the quiet, the clarity, the solitude. When I’m outdoors I find myself stopping, appreciating the moment and remembering to breath. I notice that my shoulders unclench, my frown relaxes and my mind clears. When I am surrounded by nature I simple feel more alive.