Soft focus on the green leaves, greyed from frost, but not enough cold for them to let go of the shoot they hang onto. Gaze sharpened as a red splodge, shiny with lifted wings comes into view. A ladybird.
The disembodied voice from my phone told me to shut my eyes and concentrate on my breathing. There was a tug to grab the phone and take a quick picture of the ladybird that had thrilled me. I wanted to keep it.
A precious messenger of summer, ‘I’m just around the corner, hang on.’
My eyes remained shut as I resisted and turned my mind to staying empty. I sat on the bench a plastic bag between me and the bench to stop the inevitable creeping damp from the soaked wood.
I felt a slight golden warming on my face from the early spring sunshine, the first proper light for weeks. Song from the tits busying themselves in a hurry to make a safe, soft haven in the hole, the war wound of the old plum tree.
The gentle voice told me to start imagining golden light shining down on me and rising up my body from my feet. I chuckled to myself as I imagined the light rays hitting the top of my head and sliding down the side of my body and through my feet then filling me up, like golden ale being poured into a pint glass or me just being upside down and the light entering my feet first.
I tried to dismiss my ideas about how the light entered my body and concentrate on the swell of warmth and light rising through me and to relax into it. Soon enough it was time to empty my mind and open my eyes. I did feel brighter. I looked for the ladybird. No soft red, shiny body to be seen. It struck me that the ladybird was just as busy as the birds. Why did I think otherwise? Its wings were unfolded. Why would it be in the same place after ten minutes? I wondered about the insects I couldn’t see and had the ladybird found them.
I turned my back and headed in doors, just a little brighter, more connected, more curious; ready to see what emerged.
For me this was an impulse. In the summer I love to drink a cup of tea basking in the sun between stints at my desk and today just seemed warm enough and sunny enough with my coat on to try doing just that. Then another impulse, to do a meditation. I found taking ten minutes for myself reset and refreshed me, allowing for a productive afternoon.
Do you meditate? Have you tried taking 10 minutes out of your busy day to be still and soak in some sunshine? How does it affect you? Please let me know in the comments below.
Carol is an editor and publisher. She has worked with writers for over 20 years, supporting and guiding them in their work. If you would like to unlock your words, write your stories and speak your truth – just for yourself if you wish, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, send her a message or join her Facebook group ‘Editors’ and writers’ hub’.