When I was a kid I had a place where I could escape all my childhood cares and be completely at peace with myself. It was along a disused railway track and up a slope. There was a stile where I would sit and look out over the beautiful fields. Skylarks and Yellowhammers were always twittering and made heavenly companions. If I was angry to begin with, I’d inevitably feel more calm after 10 minutes or so just sitting doing nothing except soaking up nature.
In a way I didn’t even feel alone. I definitely felt some kind of universal presence, call it God or Spirit. Nature always had a subtle power to befriend me and allow me to offload my troubles.
This is gonna sound so stupid but even watching cows or sheep grazing helps me refocus and calm my emotions. I love the way all they care about is grass- chew, chew, chew. All they seem to think about is where the next best bit of grass is. I love it! Their lives are so simple! Kind of brings any of my worldly problems back into perspective! Sometimes I think animals are way smarter than humans.
I also have an imaginary happy place that I “visit” when meditating, under a big oak tree at the top of a gently sloping wildflower meadow. It overlooks hills and trees. Here I imagine sitting and reading. All the dogs I’ve grown up with are with me, lying around in the sun, as well as the horses I used to ride. No people though!!
Dogs are brilliant too. My dog Cassie is never sad. She might get a bit worked up when she knows her dinner or walk is due, but afterwards she never fails to jump up on our laps for a cuddle. She’s so happy! She doesn’t worry about impressing anyone or what she needs to get done or relationships. Once the belly is full she’s the most contented animal ever! A lesson in gratitude from a dog!