Our visualization today is from an ancient fern forest. But first I would like to share one of my favourite description of trees by Herman Hesse. It is a long poem, so if you would like to skip to visualization, look for the time stamp in the show notes.
"For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more, I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs, the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity, but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, healthy tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.
Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.
A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.
A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labour is holy. Out of this trust, I live.
When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.
A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one's suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother.
So the tree rustles in the evening when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness."
You find yourself walking in the middle of a vast forest, and you have a sensation that you have travelled back to an unknown time. A whisper of luminous gauzy fog floats around the trees — the moisture in the fern forest has the scent of an elixir.
The ferns adorn every tree-trunk and cover the floor of the forest. You notice all the ones you have seen in books with names such as "adder's tongue," "moonwort," "maidenhair" and "spleenwort". You admire the natural elegance of their curving fronds and at the ends of some the fresh uncoiling fiddle-head.
When you look upwards, you notice the foliage of the trees also resemble long fronds of ferns and form such a dense canopy over your head that the sky is not visible.
The carpet of moss you are walking on muffles your footsteps. Even though your footsteps are soft, the noise startles small birds in the undergrowth.
The path crosses a small stream. You hesitate for a few moments to listen to the sound of the water, and then walk over stepping stones and continue along the trail.
You disturb a cloud of red cardinal butterflies. They hover close around your legs and your face for a few moments on wings of jet black and red then fly away.
The trail leads to an ocean cove and a volcanic stone beach. There is a striking contrast between the aquamarine water, black rock, and the lacy foam edging the waves. The stones on the beach have been worn smooth by the tides. They massage the soles of your feet as you walk along the curve of the bay.
After a while, you reach some large rocks blocking your path, preventing you from going any farther.
Tucked away here is a perfectly circular, clear rock pool shaped and carved out by the waves and the tides. You dip your toe in the shallow water and decide to take a soak.
The temperature of the water is perfect. The pool is long enough for you to stretch out comfortably. Above the high clouds resemble layers of gauzy strands. You feel relaxed by the remoteness of this place, the sound of the surf and the gentle ocean breeze.
Someone has carved a small Maori twist design into the smooth black rock on one side of the pool. You trace the shape with your fingers. You understand the traditional knot symbolizes the bond between two people-- This one could have been made long ago by friends, family or lovers.
You notice the sun has shifted lower in the sky and the time has come for you to retrace your steps back through the fern forest.
Thank you for listening to Your Sleep Guru Podcast and allowing me to help you relax or fall asleep.
To exist today, you have come from twelve previous generations or four thousand and ninety-four ancestors over the past four hundred years. Sadly many of us do not know who relatives are going back even a couple of generations.
Who were our ancestors? What sort of struggles, challenges, happiness, relationships and lives did they experience? We can never know. But one thing is for sure, we are connected to them.
This episode is based on an extraordinary ancestral place. But first I will begin the visualization with a quote from Jerry Spinelli,
"It's in the morning, for most of us. It's that time, those few seconds when we're coming out of sleep but we're not really awake yet. For those few seconds we're something more primitive than what we are about to become. We have just slept the sleep of our most distant ancestors, and something of them and their world still clings to us. For those few moments, we are unformed, uncivilized. We are not the people we know as ourselves, but creatures more in tune with a tree than a keyboard. We are untitled, unnamed, natural, suspended between was and will be, the tadpole before the frog, the worm before the butterfly. We are for a few brief moments, anything and everything we could be. And then...and then -- ah -- we open our eyes and the day is before us and ... we become ourselves."
You are voyaging on a small boat, hanging over the edge watching as the bow of the ship slices through the inky blue waves. Occasionally cold water from the sea gently splashes your face and bare arms.
The woman with the long black hair is at the helm of the boat, wearing a dress which is the same shade of blue as the cloudless sky.
The boat moves slowly along a jagged coastline, scattered with rocky inlets.
A small fishing village with white houses and tiled roofs perch on top of a cliff gleaming in the sunshine. A steep stone stairway carved out of the rocks descends to a protected cove where several brightly painted fishing boats are moored.
A flying fish startles you by landing at your feet inside the boat. It is the size of a small bird with iridescent wings. It feels cold when you place it back into the water.
The woman begins to steer the boat towards the shore, and soon you arrive at deserted bay.
Here in the shallows, the seawater is clear, emerald green. It feels cold and refreshing—a relief from the blazing hot sun. You climb out of the boat and begin walking inland toward some nearby hills surrounded by a sheer rock wall.
Away from the beach, the landscape changes to patchy grass mixed with tall agave plants. There is a chorus of crickets and cicadas.
You arrive at the base of a ridge. The cool from the shade seeps out of the rock. As you walk along, you discover a vast cavern.
The cavern envelopes you with complete shelter, and the heat from the day seems like it is being sucked right back into the sky.
As your eyes to adjust to the dim light, Strange animals emerge out of the darkness. Spread all over the wall are prehistoric cave paintings. You have stepped back into the story of an earlier time surrounded by a herd of raging bison, woolly rhinoceros, deer with massive antlers aand a mammoth boldly rendered in faded red and black strokes.
Below the animals are a pair handprints that you imagine are the artist's signature made thousands of years before.
You stand in awe of the unfathomable mystery of this place.
You breathe in the spirit of this connection to the past.
It is time to leave the cave now, and slowly you walk back down to your friend waiting in the boat.
This guided meditative visualization is about the gift.
The word gift originated with the ancient Norse word gipt, which meant 'something given'. Over the years, the name emerged in the English language, with the word 'gift'. In Swedish, the term evolved into giva, which was the word used for being given in marriage.
Gifts can be talents too. For example, you can have the gift of gab or a musical gift. Gifts can also be intangibles like the gift of happiness or the gift of a peaceful day.
This visualization is from Iceland, but first, I will begin with a poem by ― J.R.R. Tolkien.
"I sit beside the fire and think
Of all that I have seen
Of meadow flowers and butterflies
In summers that have been
Of yellow leaves and gossamer
In autumns that there were
With morning mist and silver sun
And wind upon my hair
I sit beside the fire and think
Of how the world will be
When winter comes without a spring
That I shall ever see
For still there are so many things
That I have never seen
In every wood in every spring
There is a different green
I sit beside the fire and think
Of people long ago
And people that will see a world
That I shall never know
But all the while I sit and think
Of times there were before
I listen for returning feet
And voices at the door."
You find yourself on the gentle path meandering beside a small spring between the ravine in a barren nordic landscape.
You are the farthest north and probably the closest you will ever be to the arctic circle. A remote place you have never dreamed of reaching.
It is the middle of summer, and even though it is late at night, the sun is still up.
The desolate nature of the place resembles a lunar landscape. There are no trees, no grass. No shelter.
The shambles of broken flat rocks covering the landscape appear dull. Still, closeup, each one seems airbrushed with different shades of delicate light green lichen.
The trail heads away from the stream and rises through a series of gentle switchbacks.
The silence is broken by the sound of rocks disturbed by your footsteps.
When you reach the top of the rise, you enter a diaphanous cloud of mist. The once sharp edge of the ridgeline becomes softened by an amorphous shape, and it seems to envelop you like a long lost friend.
After a while, the haze lifts. The edge of the slope falls away into an inspiring panorama of deep purple mountains. Faraway peaks still have snow on the top of them—a fjord with little islands in the middle that appear to be strung together by a bridge. Brilliant shafts of sunlight break through the clouds and illuminate random patches of the landscape.
You could climb higher, but you sit down to experience the view from this particular spot.
Nearby you notice clumps of flowering pink arctic thyme which have a delicate sweet fragrance.
A raven flies closeby and disappears over the ridge.
Amongst all the flat rocks, you notice a small smooth black stone etched with a primitive symbol. The form clearly resembles the outline of a woman with her arms raised up above her head.
The image was etched into the stone ages ago... You marvel at the chance of finding it on this desolate incline, above the vast, empty landscape. Who was the person whose hands worked to carve the image into the stone? Was it dropped while they hunting? Were they running away, or just out walking like you.
You hold the amulet. The mystery of the stone will never be explained. You will never know. The person who could reveal the secret has long since disappeared from this place.
It must be getting late. The sun has disappeared below the horizon. The sky looks like it has been painted with streaks of gold on lavender dissolving into saffron.
A sense of peace and gratitude overwhelm you. You will stay here for a while because there is no darkness in the Nordic summer. At this time of year, time does standstill.
Photo by Davide Cantelli | Unsplash
This guided meditative visualization is from a retreat.
A retreat can be a time of solitude. An opportunity to withdraw from routine. A time of soul-searching and reflection. A chance to refocus and adjust energy that might be stretched thin in multiple directions.
Retreats can be held in silence, at rural or remote locations, and sometimes they can be taken at a monastery. Spiritual retreats allow time for reflection, prayer, or meditation.
This visualization is from a monastery, but first, I will begin with a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson.
"Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them, and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life."
You wake up, and for about ten strange seconds, everything is unfamiliar. You don't know where you are. Then you remember, you're staying at the retreat.
Pale morning light filters through the open window—the sound of whispering rain falling outside blends with the birdsong from the courtyard. You recognize the sound of the cinnamon sparrow, the swifts, and the doves.
The air from outside carries a delicate fragrance of earth and citrus from the orange trees in the courtyard.
You get up, walk over to the window and sit down on a weathered stone window seat which overlooks the terracotta roof, the fountain and the tops of the lemon trees.
Beyond is a landscape of sunflower fields, pastures and straight lines of vineyards stretching away and disappearing over the horizon.
A man walks across a field with two white dogs herding a flock of goats through a gate in the fence.
You imagine the people who have sat at the window. The view probably hasn't changed much over hundreds of years.
The sun breaks through the clouds—a perfect prism of brilliant colours arc in the sky above the landscape. In a matter of moments, the rainbow fades away like a dream.
After a while, you decide to carry on your journey. You open the antique door, walk down the empty stone passageway and out into the courtyard, and the sunshine.
You pick an orange from one of the trees. The fruit fits neatly in the palm of your hand and smells irresistibly sweet. It peels easily, and the flavour brings back sweet memories from your childhood.
There is a fragrance of incense. A whirl of smoke hangs suspended in a shaft of sunshine. You walk across the courtyard following the scent to an open room.
The room is cavernous with flagstones on the floor and a vaulted ceiling overhead. As you gaze up at the rafters, the loft of the height is dizzying.
There is an unusual rose window at the end of the room. It appears to float in the darkness, almost without any support and casts deep jewels of red and blue light about the floor and the walls.
In the corner, rows of white candles sputter and burn.
The essence of frankincense is pleasant. There is a peaceful, sacred hush. You feel connected with your breathing and your heart, and for a delicious moment, time stands still.
Like all moments, this one has to end, as you feel it's time to continue on your journey back across the fields from which you walked the day before.
This guided visualization is from purple fields of lavender.
Lavender flowers are known to symbolize purity, silence, devotion serenity, grace and calmness. Lavender essential oil is the most commonly used essential oil today, known for its soothing, calming and antidepressive properties.
Lavender oil has been used for over 3,000 years. The Egyptians used lavender for mummification and as a perfume. When King Tut's tomb was discovered and opened in 1923, the air inside possessed the faint scent of lavender.
Now I will begin with a quote from Clarissa Pinkola Estes.
The doors to the world of the wild Self are few but precious. If you have a deep scar, that is a door, if you have an old, old story, that is a door. If you love the sky and the water so much, you almost cannot bear it, that is a door. If you yearn for a deeper life, a full life, a sane life, that is a door."
You find yourself in an Olive Grove. The sun is shining, and a faint aroma of earth and thyme float on the soft, salty breeze that has been carried inland from the nearby Mediterranean Sea.
The olive trees have stood in this grove for years. They have survived while civilizations rose and collapsed. The ancient trunks are broad, and their gnarled branches twist and reach for each other overhead. The road maps of their shadows they spill onto the ground. Small green fruits ripen for the harvest as they have for infinite seasons before
The ground is dry. Tufts of coarse grass grow where the boughs of the olive trees have provided shelter and relief from the afternoon sun.
The cicadas have recently surfaced from the dry ground. Their combined song fills the air like a primitive concerto.
As you walk along, you notice the herd of sheep are strolling through the olive grove too. They have thick curved horns and are followed closely by a couple of white sheepdogs who pay no attention to you.
The path ends at an ancient stone wall with a wooden gate with wrought iron hinges. When you turn the handle and open the gate, the landscape opens up into fields upon fields of purple lavender. Rows upon rows stretch as far as your eyes can see rolling into the distant hills. The perfume of the lavender is suddenly all around you; curling and diffused in the air with warmth and subtlety.
The lavender bushes are alive with bees and white butterflies. You pick one of the lavender stalks and touched the tiny violet-blue blossoms, and bring your scented fingertips to your throat.
You decide to slowly wander over to a small stone barn with a tiled roof you can see in the distance.
When you reach it, you can see the swifts flying overhead. They dip and dance around the barn. Some of them are soaring high up on the thermals. You notice a nest under the eaves by the doorway.
The door is ajar and creaks when you gently push it open. The interior is whitewashed and light-filled — bunches of harvested lavender drying in bunches that hang from wooden beams overhead.
In the corner are huge burlap sacks filled with the dried lavender. You walk over and sit down beside them, cross-legged on the floor. You close your eyes, and breath deeply in and out, and with each breath, a more profound sense of peace and calm overwhelms you. You appreciate your tranquil mood, and you almost feel as if you could fall asleep.
This guided visualization is from a tidal river in the East of England.
But first, I will begin with the lyrics of an uplifting Brazilian song called "Aquas de Marco", which translates in English as "Waters of March". It's a beautiful song, and if you don't know it, please check it out.Both the Brazilian and English versions are good.
A stick, a stone
It's the end of the road
It's feeling alone
It's the weight of your load
It's a sliver of glass
It's life, it's the sun
It is night, it is death
It's a knife, it's a gun
A flower that blooms
A fox in the brush
A knot in the wood
The song of a thrush
The mystery of life
The steps in the hall
The sound of the wind
And the waterfall
It's the moon floating free
It's the curve of the slope
It's an ant, it's a be
It's a reason for hope
And the riverbank sings
Of the waters of march
It's the promise of spring
It's the joy in your heart.
The tide is high, and the path leads through a marsh. Tall gold reeds sway gently back and whisper in the breeze. In places, some of the reeds have fallen over the trail, obscuring it from view, so you have to push them aside to keep moving forward.
Legend has it that in ancient times, local fishermen captured a merman in their nets here. At first, they thought they had caught a seal or a dolphin, but soon realized it was a man with long hair who was completely naked, wild and unable to talk. The fishermen brought him back to the town of Orford and locked him up. However, he was able to escape never to be seen again.
The trail ends a broad beach. The calm water perfectly mirrors the sky, so it's hard to see where the river ends, and where the air begins.
Here a narrow wooden pier extends out into the river, and the stillness of the water creates an optical illusion like the wooden walkway is hanging suspended in space, a pathway to infinity.
From around the river bend, a murmuration of birds appear. They blend together, then break apart, then together, then apart, creating a myriad of undulating galaxies of patterns. The sound of their wings beating together takes your breath away.
Within moments the birds disappear from view, and you notice the tide is rising and starting to cover the beach.
You walk away from the river on a different path carved through hedges of brambles to a forest of oak trees.
The trail ends at the broken ruins of an ancient building. The roof is missing, but parts of an old chimney and the walls of a great hall take up most of the clearing.
At the top of the remnants of a fireplace, an owl drowsily peers at you. The flint walls have been weathered by the ages. The place feels peaceful to you. You sit down inside the ruins and breathe in the atmosphere. It is a broken-down place, but you feel safe and incredibly relaxed here.
When you close your eyes, you become aware of the other sounds of the forest: the bees, the grasshoppers, wood doves. As you breathe in and breathe out the combination of the sounds and the feeling of the afternoon sun on your face makes you feel calm and relaxed.
Before we begin, the visualization, which is from a secret garden. I want to start with a quote by Carl Sagan.
"Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light‐years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. So are our emotions in the presence of great art or music or literature, or acts of exemplary selfless courage such as those of Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. The notion that Science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both."
Purple heather and yellow gorse cover the hillsides. The rainstorm has recently ended, and a mist has been swept away by the warm, mild breeze. Summer sunlight breaks through broken clouds with long shafts of light illuminating patches of the landscape for fleeting moments.
The breeze carries the slight aroma of wildflowers and damp earth warming up in the sunshine.
Swifts soar overhead.
The pathway descends gradually down the hillside into the valley, and as it does, it becomes increasingly overgrown, almost like a tunnel. Animals stir around in the underbrush.
The trail ends at a tall ancient brick wall covered by a thicket of ivy, honeysuckle and rosehip bushes. When you pull some of the vines and branches aside, you discover a heavy, wooden door with a big iron key in the lock.
The key opens the door so you can go inside.
The garden has been forgotten about. Tangled rose bushes are blooming despite their neglect, binding the walls, wrapping around the tree trunks, and the branches. A multitude of colours scarlet, pink, and white.
In addition to the roses, there are all sorts of other flowers growing wild.
The birds have found sanctuary here and built numerous nests in the trees and bushes. On the ground, by your feet, you notice a hawk feather and broken pieces of a blue eggshell.
In the middle of the garden, is an enormous weeping willow tree. Its branches hang down like green curtains.
You go over to the tree, part the leafy branches and suddenly you are enclosed by a vault of green.
Underneath the canopy, surrounding the massive tree trunk is a fuzzy bed of moss. You sit down and look up through the branches. The willow leaves glow neon-lit from within—the spaces in between them, the blue sky.
You lie down on the soft bed of moss close your eyes and allow yourself to completely relax.
Before we begin, the visualization, which is from a hidden corner of Europe. I would like to start with a quote from the Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist, Thích Nhất Hạnh.
"Around us, life bursts with miracles--a glass of water, a ray of sunshine, a leaf, a caterpillar, a flower, laughter, raindrops. If you live in awareness, it is easy to see miracles everywhere. Each human being is a multiplicity of miracles. Eyes that see thousands of colours, shapes, and forms; ears that hear a bee flying or a thunderclap; a brain that ponders a speck of dust as easily as the entire cosmos; a heart that beats in rhythm with the heartbeat of all beings. When we are tired and feel discouraged by life's daily struggles, we may not notice these miracles, but they are always there."
You are walking through a vast grassy meadow. The wind pushes the grasses one way and then another and as it does the field undulates downwards and upwards. It flows and looks like water. In the distance, you notice some of the grass has been cut for hay. Large circular bales are strewn about randomly on the hillside.
In places, clumps of crimson poppies swaying in the breeze give the impression that the fields are alive with flares. You also notice blue cornflowers, clover, teasels and tall purple thistles.
Soon the path cuts through a field of sunflowers. They are taller than you are, and their flowers are all facing away from you toward the east. The big blooms are full of life- not just bees, but butterflies and emerald-toned beetles. The sun warmed sweet haze of the yellow flowers fills the air.
After a while, the field of sunflowers ends, and now you are following the trail through a vineyard. The vines are knarled and stretch out for acres in lines of trellises. The clusters of grapes are budding green.
You come to an ancient, crumbling wall with an archway and a thick oak door. When you push, the door opens easily, into the courtyard of a monastery.
The courtyard is filled with lemon trees. In the middle of it, white doves are drinking from a fountain.
When you approach, they fly away on to the terracotta tiled roof.
An elderly monk in a black habit walks over and greets you in broken English. He has silver hair, with kind deep-set eyes. He explains that the monastery is also a retreat, and you are welcome to stay overnight.
You accept the invitation, so he leads you through the courtyard to a covered walkway overgrown with roses. When you look up at the monastery, you notice a couple of gargoyles crouching under the rooftop. They look weathered from centuries of being exposed to the elements, one has the face of a lion, and another resembles a monkey with a full mouth.
The monk leads you through a large kitchen. A group of people are sitting together at a long table, having lunch. They smile at you as you pass by. You follow the monk down a wide corridor to your bedroom.
The room is whitewashed, with oak floors and a simple wooden bed, desk and chairs. You walk over to the window; the view overlooks the tiled roof and the places you have recently walked.
It is dusk, a purple dusk over the sunflower fields and the long grass pastures. The sun setting is the colour of pressed grapes, slashed with burgundy red. On the horizon you see a small village nestled in the between the faraway hillsides.
You turn around and see the monk has left. You walk over to the door and close it then you lie down on the soft bed. The room is peaceful. And quiet. A balanced inner calmness radiates from your heart. You breathe slowly and deeply. Your eyes are still under your eyelids, your mind is still. You feel relaxed as you listen to the birds outside your window. And now a light rain begins to fall.
Have you heard of forest bathing? It's not actual bathing in water, but immersing yourself in the woods. Being present, noticing the trees, the wildlife, the sounds and the aromas.
Forest bathing became an integral part of Japanese preventative health care in the 80s. They discovered that being in a forest lowers blood pressure, reduces stress hormone production and boosts the immune system as well as increasing feelings of well-being. In this visualization, you won't actually be in the forest. Still, I hope to help you experience the next best thing.
In the red cedar forest, the trees tower overhead, and their size creates a feeling of insignificance.
The atmosphere is hushed and still. The ancient forest has trapped the air around you, which vaguely smells like incense and earth.
A path winds through the cedar grove which feels like a sacred space, almost like a cathedral. Shafts of sunlight hang suspended through the branches touching the forest floor. You quietly walk on the trail which loops through stands of ferns. The path feels springy from the pine needles scattering over the forest floor.
The trees have endured through thousands of years of different eras and many challenges. Each tree is unique in size and shape, and some of their trunks and branches are carpeted with green moss.
There is some rustling in the twigs overhead. When you look up, you see a speckled owl with amber eyes. You gaze at each other for a few moments, then you continue walking down the path.
You tread lightly so as not to bother any other gentle spirits that live here.
You pass a totem of a frog carved out of a cedar log. Nearby, a spring splashes into a shallow collecting pool cut from the rock. You scoop the clear water up with your hands and put it to your lips. The spring has distilled deep within the earth since the beginning of time and tastes pure and sweet.
The trail widens. As the path opens up, the sky is visible through the trees. Cerulean blue, without a cloud.
Now it begins to meander through monolithic boulders. You reach out and touch one of the rocks which feels cold.
The trail ends at a waterfall plunging over a cliff. The mighty mass of water carries chills the air. Occasionally you feel a slight spray on your bare arms and face. Rainbows dance in the sunshine.
To the side of the trail, you notice a bench cut from an old cedar log. You go over to it and sit down—the sound and beauty of the landscape flood your senses in a comfortable and relaxing way. You close your eyes and breath. Feeling peaceful and relaxed.
The small black fishing hut stands by itself on the northernmost peninsula in the land of the midnight sun.
From inside, the sun streams through the antique lace curtains that cover the small window. Even though it is early evening, the sun shines brightly in the sky.
The gentle sound of the waves lures you out of your tranquil retreat to the beach.
A brisk wind greets you when you step outside the front door.
The path to the beach starts at the end of the garden by the smokehouse shack. Here a stack of lobster pots and a weatherbeaten white rowing boat have been turned upsidedown.
The neat, straight path is overgrown by blackberry, purple heather and rosehip bushes that have grown wild on either side of the trail. The brambles are high enough that you cannot see over the top.
You reach the white sandy beach and walk out on the peninsula. A sandy spit that juts out into the water. Here the Baltic Sea and the North Sea meet supernaturally with an invisible barrier. One side is dark green, the other indigo blue.
The tide has strewn Jellyfish and purple starfish that shimmer on top of iridescent pink seaweed.
Bracing yourself, you take off your clothes and walk into the gentle surf.
At first, you can hardly bear how cold the water is, but when you do, the water feels refreshing to the core of your soul.
After the swim, you wrap your shivering body up in a soft blue towel and let the summer evening rays warm your salty skin.
A flock of birds fly overhead.
You feel restored and weary at the same time. You stay like this for a while. Listening to the sound of the waves, and the birds who make their home here every summer.
〰️ Clara 〰️
I am bringing my favourite outside experiences and imaginings to create visualizations that encourage peace and relaxation.