In one of last week’s podcasts Michael Nobbs started exploring ideas for tiny adventures. Through the years of illness I’ve learnt to spin a lot out of very little, so I added some of my ideas to the discussion thread and received nice feedback. At some point I might work up what I wrote into a blog post, but for now here’s a brief description of a tiny adventure:
I’m having a low energy, high pain sort of day, but this afternoon I ventured out into the wild wind (strong breeze), braving the dangerous creatures (ants that bite) to lie on my lawn and observe my surroundings.
I looked up at the tips of apple tree branches swaying in the breeze. I saw scruffy leaves, shiny young apples, lichened twigs, a clump of white fluffy woolly aphids, the bright blue sky and a sparrow flitting towards the feeder.
A movement high up to my left alerted me to the graceful flight of a seagull spiraling slowly downwards. Attention on the sky I saw that there were little fluffy clouds interrupting the blueness and, glinting in the sun, a jet heading towards the coast, contrail trailing. The steady roar of engines contrasted with the irregular sounds of birdsong and rustling leaves.
Two pigeons swooped from somewhere behind my head towards the roof of my house and a pair of sparrows shot off in the other direction. Spooked by the pigeons? I pondered the difference between bird-flight and human-flight. Until a fast-flying bumble bee caught my attention… Why the hurry? Other bees were ambling about in the usual relaxed manner of bees foraging in sunshine.
I felt the coolness of shaded grass beneath me and the delicious rush of air over my body. I tuned into the different rustles the wind made in the bamboo and the apple leaves. Noticed the pauses in sound and movement, tried to detect a pattern to the gusts.
Turning my head I got a daisy’s-eye view of my surroundings. To the right, to the left. Daisies, buttercups, grass, the raised beds, shrubs, chairs, fences all odd angles, looming, reminding me of how adult-sized objects appear to a child.
Turning to the right again I noticed a pair of sparrows clinging to the brickwork of the house under the eaves. I shifted up onto my elbows to get a better look. Were they prospecting for a home? No, they were pecking at something I couldn’t see. I decided they must be stealing insects from invisible spider’s webs.
It’s not like exploring the Amazon, but when you have limited energy you have to make the most of what you’ve got. There’s a lot going on in a garden and many living things to keep you company when you are too weary for human interaction. My tiny adventure refreshed and inspired me sufficiently to write this and it took even less effort than a micro walk. All you have to do is look and listen.