Yesterday I took the dogs and walked up to the top of the hill behind my house. I can see for miles up there, and in days when life has got me down and I need to look at the bigger perspective, it’s a good place to start.
A very old byway runs along the spine of the hill. It’s used by horsemen and walkers alike, and on Sunday afternoons lads on scrambling bikes carve up the ground and turn it into a muddy, noisy race track.
Yesterday it was peaceful with no distractions, and I quickly lost myself in my thoughts. At the end of the track is a wood with sprawling holly bushes, sturdy oaks and tall, slim beech trees that sway in the westerlies. The wood is old. The leaf mould on the ground is deep and luscious, and it smells just gorgeous.
Overhead some dark and raucous residents made their presence known. Rooks. They were nest building, and their untidy jumbles of twigs lurched back and forth in the freshening winds. Round and round they flew, circling the nest sites, cawing and calling to each other. I stood enchanted. Lost, for a few precious moments, in an hypnotic trance of something ancient as they turned and fell in the sky. This way and that they twisted with such ease, riding the winds in this element to which I have few points of reference. I was very aware they knew I was on the ground – man, the predator, never to be trusted. They were keeping a very sharp eye on me and my dogs.
Last night I had a dream. I was flying, my arms outstretched and my body turning and twisting over green fields full of wild flowers. I felt the wind lifting me, and with intention I found I could go higher, change direction, swoop low. I was human, still me, but free of the ties that keep us grounded. I was up there, with the birds.
To be able to fly, even in a dream, is to share something with all creatures of the air. In dream-time we get to understand that truly, there can be no separation between any of us – we breathe the same air and drink the same water. However different we think we are, in reality we share our life experience on Planet Earth with all beings.