As I walked out in the city yesterday, I was very aware of the contrast between my time in the Welsh valley, where my walks were through woodland, grassy pathways, and open meadows, with birdsong and alpacas for company, and now walking on pavements, crossing tarmacked roads and surrounded by buildings, shops, offices, flats and people going about their business.
I feel so fortunate to experience such different environments. It boosts my senses and encourages me to be so much more aware of my surroundings. Neither is better than the other. Each has its place, and purpose. Yes, my preference is for the natural world, but I am also happy to be in the city and to enjoy the urban environment.
How amazing that the supermarket is 2 minutes walk away. No need to drive 8 miles for food.
The longer I am here the more I am adjusting to the noises and the constant light 24 hours a day. I miss waking up in my van, stepping into my wellies, and out into the fresh morning air of the valley. Yet, for today, I have all that I need right here. I am with family and that matters a lot. It feels good.
Contrasts are a valuable way to awaken us to what matters. We can become so used to things being a certain way we might come to believe that is all there is, or become fearful of something different. It is possible to be open and accepting of the differences we encounter, whether it be in our physical environment or the people we meet. When we pay attention to what we see, we can notice our reaction and be curious about our response. That can be valuable information.