HEAVEN ON EARTH
Here I stand at sunrise, on a postage stamp of woodland on the edge of Luton, some of Mother Nature’s best work. To the east is Hitchin, a bustling town. To the north lies Luton Airport, where planes are rumbling. To the south, a busy dual carriageway connects Luton to Hitchin and produces white noise twenty-four hours a day. So much for the eastern corridor. Finally, to the west is Luton, a noisy, traffic-congested town. One guarantee is that the four points of this compass will be full of stressed, irritated, and at times even aggressive people, all working toward that perfect life that will come tomorrow, and if not tomorrow, then very soon. What will give them that? A bigger house, new car, expensive jewellery, or maybe even a holiday. It hasn’t happened as yet. They have forgotten the last holiday, night out, new car, or new electronic gadget, but the next one will be the one that makes them truly happy! Maybe it will happen, or maybe they will chase after lasting happiness in material possessions for their entire lives.
I come to this oasis every day at dawn with Zen, Titch, Zing, Smudge and Jacob, my five terriers. Do I come here to think? God, no! I come here to try not to think but just to enjoy. My chatterbox is going all day and most of the night, usually talking total rubbish inside my head.
My dawn walks are purely about being present in this precious moment. I focus on now. Listening to the birds, in awe of the trees, and even at times spotting deer, I watch the sunrise and enjoy my dogs just being dogs. If we see people, they are always happy and friendly (mostly?!). Mother Nature brings out the best in us all. This is my moment to practise the “being” part of human being. Together with a daily meditation, this is when I understand the meaning of heaven on earth, or at least inside of me at these moments.
It hasn’t been easy to slow myself down for these moments, and at times my yappy chatterbox still wins, but when he shuts up, the knock-on effect for the rest of the day is well worth it. No drugs, no alcohol, and no expense – just a little time and a different perspective on life is all that is required. You don’t even have to have the dogs. They are most definitely optional, but for me they are the icing on Mother Nature’s underrated cake.