Both me and the dog are back home once again, melting in the heat. Ani appears to have been having a fair bit of fun… she has evidently been helping with a bit of house-painting; the black and white animal currently grinning at me from the sofa is, in patches at least, whiter than usual. I, on the other hand, am…at least in patches… redder than usual, having been caught unawares by the heatwave. While much of the exposed flesh has turned a nice golden brown, ‘driver’s arm’ was inevitable and the tan is a tad lopsided.
But that is fine. Between the workshop and our bit of a holiday, we have seen some amazing things, visited some incredible ancient sites and breathed in some of the most beautiful landscapes you could imagine.
First and foremost was the workshop…our main reason for going to Wales. But there was time for Stuart and me to meander a bit too… which was perfect as neither of us have been in the best of health lately. A proper rest, we thought, would do us the world of good.
And we rested well. We descended deep within the earth, climbed hills to reach unimaginable caverns, visited ancient churches and even older stones. We played with the waves, walked in the woods and climbed the odd mountain just for good measure.
And the odd thing is, that although we arrived home physically tired… we are rested. The beauty and silence of the land and the song of the ever-moving sea heal the soul in ways that a simple lack of movement cannot match.
We do not realise just how much we are assailed by artificial noise in our daily lives, or how aggressive and stressful it can be, until we listen in silence to the sounds of the earth.
The cry of a gull, the whisper of the wind in the grass, the buzzing of bees or the laughter of a stream, crystal clear and icy cold, falling from the mountainside… They echo and answer something within us that is overpowered and drowned by the noise of the modern world.
It is not until we step beyond the encircling walls of necessity and duty, taking time to just breathe and be, that we realise how far we are driven from our own essential nature by the demands of the world we have constructed. Although a few days ‘away’ may recharge the batteries, like any other battery that charge can only last for a limited period without being renewed.
But there are photographs…lots of photographs…and memories… and I get to share them. In doing so, I relive them and smile as the feeling and the inner silence return. We cannot live in the past…even one so beautiful as the past few days… but it does feed the present and for me, at present, there is a rich vein of renewal into which I can delve…