Since I connected with nature on a deep level during the four-day silent retreat I can’t get enough of the great outdoors. The majesty of mature trees takes my breath away, the autumn colours are better than any Christmas decoration I’ve ever seen and birdsong has never sounded sweeter.
Rather than grumble about the rain when I set off for my run this morning, I welcomed its coolness on my skin and off I went, stopping occasionally to admire a rose, crimson leaves hanging like jewels and all the fruits and berries that are ripe for picking.
I noticed more than usual. Today’s treat was the parasol mushroom. There were smatterings of them across the park and they looked like something that had been left by aliens.
I didn’t know what they were called at the time. I wondered if you could eat them and thought I had better not touch one in case it was poisonous. On my way home, I saw a man picking them and stopped to chat.
He explained that they were parasol mushrooms and that he was going to fry them in butter and eat them on toast. As we spoke, I could smell their mushroomy aroma billowing out of his Sainsbury’s bag. He showed me their white underbelly and explained that because they were more than 12cm wide, they are not poisonous.
I jokingly said that I would keep an eye on the local paper and if a man hasn’t died from eating highly toxic mushrooms, I might think about dining on them!
Off I trotted thinking about how bountiful nature is. My life has never felt so abundant since my STL (seeing the light) moment and I wonder if this will be reflected in my bank account, not that money is a priority right now. It’s still nice though, right?
For some reason, lots of people smiled at me on my way back home and I had a rather meaningful encounter with a new dog owner who told me how his four-month-old cockapoo pup has quelled his daughter’s anxiety.
It’s interesting isn’t it. I ran a route that I have taken most weekends for years, yet I can’t remember enjoying it as much as I did this morning. Of course, everything has always been magical, it’s just that I couldn’t see it.
I do realise that from the outside, I sound as if I have gone funny in the head, but strangely, life has never made so much sense to me.