Week beginning Monday 2nd August:
I was doing Tai-chi on the lawn at 6.30 on a fresh sunny morning when a cloud, a flock of birds (which I think were sparrows) rose above a bush, followed its contours, swooped down and then rose again following the outline of the next bush.
On the beach when the first gentle drops of rain spot the pebbles like plover’s eggs and bring new colour to the slabs of wave-rounded rocks.
Meditating in the rain – Provided one is dressed for it (extra sweater, waterproof coat with hood, waterproof trousers and welly boots), this is a wonderful experience. I sit on a chair in the garden, near some trees, but not too sheltered, and with the garden pond close behind me.
The rain patters on my hood and shoulders; the waxy leaves have a different sound, a thwack, drip sort of sound. Accompanied by the steady gentle plopping of drops in the pond there is music, of which I am part. The damp atmosphere magnifies the natural scent of flowers, wet bark and greenery. Breathe in, breathe out.
Another morning, another Tai-chi session on the lawn. I am doing the movement known as Parting the Clouds. I look up into a sky filled with an amazing variety of cloud formations – the dappled mackerel sky of high cirrus, billowing cumulus and lower streamers and banners of mist. Then, when I do White Crane Spreads Wings, a gull flaps slowly overhead, its shadow on the grass keeping time to my own ‘wings’.