Our guided meditation this week is from a corner of Anglia on the east coast of England. Before beginning our journey, please make sure you are not driving a car or anything else.
You find yourself by the side of a large tidal river. The river Alde. The tide is in so the river is high. Your path lies ahead through a marsh of tall reeds. The reeds that line the way are almost as tall as you are, and their colour is light gold. A soft whispering breeze makes them sway gently back and forth. In places, some of the reeds have tumbled over the path, obscuring it from view. Now and then you have to push the grasses gently aside to keep moving forward.
After a while, you reach the end of the path through the reeds. The trail disappears, and now you are on a sand covered beach that runs along the side of the river going out of sight around the bend. You begin walking on the sand now. The river water is still, reflecting the sky almost perfectly. It creates an optical illusion on the horizon, and in places, it's hard to tell where the river ends, and where the sky begins.
As you walk, you notice many birds busily foraging for food where the sand and the water meet. A few of the birds you recognise as curlews and sanderlings. They are startled by you and fly away. On the other side of the river, you see two swans swimming together.
Legend has it that long ago in 1607, some fishermen captured a merman in their nets here. At first, they thought they had entangled a seal or a dolphin, but soon realised they had caught a man. He had long hair and was completely naked and wild and unable to talk. The men brought him back to the town of Orford and locked him up for an extended period. Later on, he was able to escape and was again.
As you are walking, you notice a narrow wooden jetty that projects quite far out into the river, no boat at the end of the pier. With the stillness of the river and the optical illusion, the wooden walkway looks like it is hanging suspended in space, a pathway to infinity.
While you are looking at the Mirage in the water, a murmuration of about a thousand starlings appear. They blend, 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. You watch them in amazement.
The birds disappear around the bend in the river. You realise the tide has come in further and the water has started to cover the beach where you are walking. Rather than retrace your steps, you decide to head back inland. Soon you see another path that leads through a tall hedge. You pass through, walk along and soon find yourself in a forest. The trees are English oak trees which have probably been standing here for centuries. Their bark has fissures just like armour. Underneath your feet, you feel and hear the crunching sound of the acorns, the fruit of last summer.
Soon you notice the ruins of a vast structure that once stood here. You see the old chimney and the walls of a grand hall that have crumbled almost to the ground. At the top of the fireplace, you see a small white barn owl drowsily watching you. The stone walls are weathered and worn from all the seasons they have seen. This corner of the old forest feels peaceful to you. You sit down inside the ruined structure and breathe in the atmosphere. It is a broken down place, but you feel safe and incredibly relaxed here.
You lean back and rest your head on a worn old rock. You close your eyes, and when you do, you become aware of the other sounds of the forest. The bees, the grasshoppers, wood doves. The combination of those sounds and the feeling of the sun on your face makes you feel relaxed. You breathe in. Breathe out. And then you fall into a deep deep sleep.
〰️ Clara 〰️
I am bringing my favourite outside experiences and imaginings to create visualizations that encourage peace and relaxation.