You are standing in the middle of a vast vineyard that covers the hillsides. The vines line the slopes in neat parallel emerald green lines before descending to the cold Adriatic sea.
The earth has been baked for weeks, and now it is time for grape season. The conditions are perfect for harvesting with the heat coming from both the ground and the sun. The lush grapes are heavy on the vines. A few bunches touch the earth.
You notice some wasps are burrowing into a single grape that has fallen onto the bare dirt.
You start walking in the direction of a village you see in the distance nestled in the elbow of the hillside. You pass a weathered wooden grape tray that hasn't been filled, a leather glove and some scissors that someone has forgotten.
You reach a stony downhill street. The shoulders of it are scattered with the last of the season's wildflowers. They seem to glow with an inner brilliance.
For a while, a bird flies in front of you, always careful to put a fair distance between wherever you are and where it perches.
The bird disappears behind the wall of a church overhung with vivid orange flowers. A fragrance of shrubs and herbaceous borders suddenly envelopes you. The bell of the chapel clangs.
You reach the outskirts of the town and begin walking through a maze of narrow pedestrian passageways. All the houses have faded green shutters and ancient tile roofs. As the afternoon light changes the colour of the house facades shift from apricot to gold, sienna and ochre.
The village air is stilled by the afternoon siesta.
You can smell garlic and cooking coming from one of the houses.
You keep walking down through the village and eventually end up at a small dock.
A couple of colourful fishing boats are moored in the harbour.
Short, hushed waves gently wash up against the rocky wall and then collapse.
You throw a pebble into the water. The water is so clear you can see the pebble float to the bottom. Then you imagine all the lobsters, sardines, oysters and other fish that have been hauled in from the sea here.
The sun dips behind the top of the hill. As it does, a flood of saffron turns the ocean to viridian and the golden green.
A large wicker chair is set back a little on the jetty wall next to some lobster pots and fishing nets. You walk over to it and sit down.
Soon people will be waking up from their siesta, but you feel like beginning yours.
You are walking in an alpine meadow of high grass and sunflowers.
The peace of nature is flowing into you as the sunshine flows into the abundant life circling you.
The wilderness presses close to the clearing. Stands of aspen trees surround you. Their leaves are beginning to change from green to gold. They whisper and ripple in the slight breeze.
Some of the leaves fall and scatter, and as they do, you can feel your cares dropping away from you.
The aspen trunks are straight, ghostly-white etched with black scars. You can see other people have been here before and carved their initials on some of them.
Amongst the pale aspens, you can see the darker douglas spruce and other evergreens.
You can hear the songs of various birds in the meadow. A couple of magpies are disturbed by your presence and fly away.
In the distance are many mountains. They are the colour of cobalt blue, snow-capped and spired like gothic turrets which touch the clouds.
You watch as the clouds melt away. The sun breaks through and spokes of light radiate across the sky.
Hot springs heave and boil underneath those cold mountains as they have for thousands and thousands of years.
Nearby a wild stream cascades out of a fissure in the ground.
The spring randomly heaves and bubbles as if the water is breathing in and out. Hovering above the water is ghostly steam that shifts and dances in the sunlight.
As you wander on you see the boiling spring empties into a small lagoon which is the colour of the purest azure. A coral coloured mineral rim frames the lake.
Suddenly a small group of bison appear over the crest of the clearing. There are about ten of them. They are massive and fantastic with long shaggy brown fur. You bow down and hide behind a large boulder as they pass by.
The ground beneath you is soft and hollowed out. As the bison lumber past, the earth trembles.
You watch as they slowly blend into the landscape. After a while, the bison look like dark dots, and soon you cannot tell which is a boulder and which is a bison in the valley below.
You find yourself walking barefoot along a narrow beach within a cove shaped like a horseshoe. The sea is calm, smooth aquamarine and translucent. The water laps placidly on the shore.
As you walk along on the shoreline small crabs, scatter out of your way.
Immense white limestone cliffs tower above. In the distance, a perfect arch has been carved away by the surf. The arch perfectly frames the sea beyond. The horizon over the sea has successive layers of dense clouds, and there is scarcely a breath of wind.
Within the cliffs, you can see colonies of seabirds. They are coming and going out to sea, wheeling about and fluttering their wings-- you notice seagulls, gannets, kittiwakes, and frigates. They are raising their young high up inside pockets nestled in the rocks.
You're surprised to see puffins also nesting on the cliff face. They take turns to fly out to sea to find food for their chicks.
The bay ends in front of large stones that tumble into the sea. Under the surface where the shore breaks, you see prickly sea urchins clinging to the jagged rocks, and thick green sea kelp waving gently to and fro like hair blowing in the wind. You can sense the teeming life in the hidden depths beneath.
You decide to proceed onwards and soon discover that the sea has provided a kind of staircase of flat stones, and handholds out of a series of sponge-like cavities in the rock.
As you climb, you notice imprints of trilobites and lime cameos of vanished bivalves and delicate sea ferns.
After climbing, you discover a natural seat of stone worn and rounded by the waves and polished by the rain. The place is inviting, a recess in the sheer face of the rock. When you sit down in the chair, you discover the sea has also provided a footstool for your feet. You find it quite comfortable.
Sitting on the rock with the sun on your face, and the sound of the gentle wind, you feel relaxed and on the verge of drifting off into a daydream. You look out onto the expanse of sea. You watch the ships in the distance until they disappear into the thick bank of dense clouds.
The clouds on the horizon glow like pewter. One leg of a rainbow appears. It points nearly straight up and hangs in the air. You watch the colours intensify, then gradually dissolve into the atmosphere.
The tide is beginning to turn, so you decide to climb down and retrace your steps back to the bay.
You wake up in the tipi. Gauzy sunlight passes through the white canvas — a dream catcher sways hypnotically from the wood struts over your head. Outside you can faintly hear the gentle sound of wind chimes carried on the breeze.
A faint aroma of juniper smoke from a forgotten fire hangs in the air.
The open tent flaps reveal a stark, enchanted red landscape. The landscape of Hoodoo Mesa. A massive flat-topped island in the sky. Other looming naked monoliths surround the mesa-- some resemble ruins of fortress walls while others are stark vertical minarets reaching high up into the air. The rock shapes are banded with colour: copper-gold, coral pink, burnt umber, sienna, yellow and orange.
Juniper trees and scrub oak cling precariously to some of the rock faces by their roots which have anchored themselves into small stone crevices. The Juniper trees have contorted and twisted trunks. They have clung onto their desolate place for hundreds of years.
You walk outside with your shoes off. The red earth feels soft and warm on the soles of your feet from the heat of the day. When you look down at the ground, you notice fresh lizard and kangaroo mice tracks. But despite these animal visitors who must have been outside the tent while you napped you feel a sense of overwhelming solitude because you're in the heart of hundreds of miles of nowhere.
The desert feels magical, motionless as if something is on the verge of being unveiled.
A perfect garden grows all around out of the red earth. Spare and uncrowded and straightforward. The black-eyed Susans, Indian paintbrush, prickly pear in bloom, yucca and iridescent blue sagebrush all stand out in contrast to the distant rocks and the small boulders scattered around.
A low grey ceiling of clouds hangs over the desert from horizon to horizon.
An eddy of wind passes, and you see a whirlwind pushing several tumbleweeds across the landscape.
On the horizon, a storm is gathering. Wild grey towering anvil headed clouds pile onto each other. The breeze it generates brings an aroma of ozone mingled in with earth, sage, juniper.
The massive clouds jostle as the ions collide. You can see lightning in their depths, and you can hear reverberating thunder in the distance. Now and then you can see branches of lighting join heaven and earth.
The breeze picks up and jangles the windchimes. The storm chills the air even further. You can now see a lavender-coloured curtain of rain edging closer toward you — a few drops of rainfall on your skin.
The rain has reached your distant place now, so you retreat inside the tipi. You watch the storm for a short time. Then you lie back. The sound of the rain is relaxing. You close your eyes and drift off into a deep sleep.
The autumn equinox occurred this week. The days and nights in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres are at an equal length now. Equinoxes are balanced days where harmony exists between the light and dark. Maybe events on in our own lives or society will begin to find a similar balance, so we will be moving toward inner peace, stability and fulfilment.
In the next visualization, we will walk through the autumn leaves in a forest, and end up at a beautiful clearing before the sunset.
The afternoon is gently passing. Pale amber sunlight spills through the tangled branches of the forest. Summer is collapsing into Autumn, and the leaves are blushing with a last few weeks of colour before the arrival of winter. Red maple, yellow chestnuts, copper beech, red oak and crimson dogwood.
Many of the branches are already bare. The trail you are walking on is covered with a russet carpet of leaves that crunches as you walk over it. The ground underfoot is also uneven with tree roots, twigs and pine cones that snap. The forest floor surrounding you is littered with fallen trees, a tangle of blackberry bushes, and ferns without any direction.
As the wind sighs and wanders through the wild woods, the leaves scatter and fall about you like dry rain. The oak trees are also randomly dropping their acorns hard. You notice a grey squirrel bustling around through the piles of leaves searching for nuts.
The forest exhales, and with it, you smell the earth, and the leaves mingled together with the slight scent of smoke from a faraway bonfire.
The wood is thicker here, and find yourself walking through a tunnel of trees, their branches tangle and flow overhead. The limbs are intertwined and cast dapples of shadows on the forest floor around you.
You arrive at the edge of the forest at a vast field thick with yellow goldenrod and grass.
You see a herd of about six deer grazing in the clearing. They are sleek with glossy fur. You observe them for a few moments before they sense your presence. They gaze at you for moments with their large dark eyes, before they slowly back away, fling up their white tails and float off into the dark timberline.
The sun slips over the trees sending low slanting rays across the field as you walk out into the open. The sky
You find a place where the deer have slept like a round nest in the tall flattened grass.
In the distance, a flock of geese fly in a long V. shape. They have no borders. You can faintly hear their wings beat. They are sensing the shortening days as if a door is closing which they must dash through before it shuts. Other birds pass over the field in a level flight like punctuation marks.
The light is falling away from the sky, a few low clouds fold over themselves in a light shade of silver. It's time for you to retrace your steps and walk back through the forest.
〰️ Clara 〰️
I am bringing my favourite outside experiences and imaginings to create visualizations that encourage peace and relaxation.