Walking the woods and trails will always give a fine sight of nature and its beauty. Looking to a distant vista, colours and composition of landscape sit before the eyes and in our mind we are the artist or photographer capturing the image to our living memories. Before you walk away from such a sight I would like to encourage you to stay a while longer and look more deeply.
Our perception is often linked to the moment, to look beyond the moment into the past or the possible futures opens the mind to a greater picture. To see the trees in a younger state struggling their way clear of the undergrowth, the ruins or marks on the landscape once part of a way of life and now just a hint at the toils of another human through the mists of time.
The colours of the earth and the flora will give the clues needed to establish the qualities of land beneath your feet, from clay to stone to fertile earth. The pools and weirs of the streams and rivers define the energy of gravity and rainfall, the type and size of fish and their likely food source from the smallest of plants by the waterside. The water should also be a window on the bed beneath. Hills and mountains demonstrate the greater movements of plates, glaciers and the effect of earth upon water and air. To see a torrential downpour channelled to a stream or the fine mists forming in the low lands as the earth releases its moisture to the air. To see light and shadow change as the turning of the earth alters the suns rays and reflected moonlight on the scene before the senses.
Looking beyond the moment is not easy, the mind can sometimes find distractions to disturb the thoughts and send us into a world of dreaming. But on occasion it will be a scent, a sound or a sight that will give us signals of what lies beyond.
Perhaps it is the way we are taught to think that limits our perceptions, teaching aspects of life in neatly contained categories to allow for easy assessment. But to step outside of these limits and look at the world in an interconnected way passing beyond a subject or a moment into a journey and purpose can be liberating. To draw our full attention to a task in the moment is a fine and most rewarding thing, it can clear stagnant thoughts from the mind but to take that clear mind and give it the ability to change mindset and perceptions to the wider picture takes us beyond that point in the moment to the realms beyond.