Before listening to the podcast, please remember not to be driving a car or anything else.
You find yourself bathed in golden sunshine, alone in the clearing of a forest. The trees are set apart. Each tree is unique. Some have twisted limbs that form interesting shapes, while others are tall and straight. The leaves on the twisted trees are small and angular, while the tall narrow trees are evergreen. Their warm, soft fragrance holds an aroma that dates back to another time, long ago.
As you walk along the broad sandy path through the forest, that was probably made by many ancient people and animals who walked this way ages ago, you see a clearing up ahead. When you reach the clearing, a valley opens up. Fields of grass sway and undulate in soft breezes, and you are reminded of the currents in the ocean. The soft whisper of the wind through the tall grass beckons you out into the open clearing.
You walk ahead. Looking up at the hills beyond you see an ancient stone castle high up on one of them. The villa is surrounded by another forest, this one is thicker than the one you have just walked through. You are mesmerized and feel magnetically drawn to explore it.
You walk through the high golden grass towards the forest and the grass lightly touches your bare arms as you go. The ends of the grasses have seeds, and growing in between are tall crimson flowers, purple thistles, and buttercups. White butterflies with black designs compete with scarlet winged beetles to drink the nectar from them.
Suddenly, you hear a loud rustling to your left. As the rustling becomes louder and louder, you see a stout wild boar complete with tusks pushing its way through the grass. At first, you feel a little nervous, but then you relax. The boar isn’t interested in you and passes on the path ahead of you. Following closely behind their coarse-haired mother are eight piglets with have latitudes of brown and white stripes across their small bodies.
You walk on until you find yourself at the edge of the dense forest that surrounds the castle on the hill. From deep within the trees you hear a lot of birds singing. The birds could be sparrows or finches.
The trail through the trees is quite overgrown with blooming honeysuckle bushes. The flowers are still covered with dew.
The path slowly slopes up, but you choose instead to follow the dry river bed that curls along underneath the trail. You stoop to take a look at some of the small stones you see there. They all have edges that have been polished by the water that used to run freely over them, or perhaps by centuries of rain. Something catches your eye. It’s a small smooth black rock, oblong in shape, half black and half white. Onyx and marble melded together by a mysterious force. The stone fits perfectly into the palm of your hand, so you decide to keep it. As you walk on, you rub the stone between your fingers, enjoying how smooth the surface feels.
You decide to follow the river bed for a while. You walk along in the soft sand, meandering around the larger stones that nature has left in disarray.
The melody of the birds follows you as you walk. You sense some of the birds are watching you cautiously from the undergrowth, wondering if you are there to disturb them or if you are just a passer- by.
Shafts of sunlight find their way through the leaves and branches overhead. They throw dappled patterns on the ground all around you.
Ahead you notice an ancient stone bridge. Who built the bridge? The Romans? The people from Medieval times, or the Renaissance? The bridge has seen better days. Regardless, you climb up to the top of it. Here you discover an old cobblestone road. You realize the road probably leads to the castle, so you walk this way now.
The landscape changes as you leave the forest. Lining the road are bushes with brambles. Their thorny branches are heavy with ripe blackberries. You pluck and eat a few. In your mouth, they taste like the summer sunshine.
After a while, you are at the castle. The walls are in a state of decay. The mortar is covered in lichen, and some of it is crumbling away. Tufts of grass have found places to grow in the cracks. The shutters on the ground floor are closed. Old brown paint peels away from them. A speckled green lizard is sunning himself on one of the ledges.
You are drawn to find a way to look inside the castle. As you walk around the walls, you see one of the shuttered doorways is hanging on with a broken hinge, so you are able to open the door and climb inside.
You are in a dimly lit entryway. Pieces of broken plaster, glass, and tile crunch under your feet. When you breathe in the air, it smells musty and unlived in. Old vines have crawled inside through the cracks. Nature is reclaiming this old relic for herself.
You walk up the grand staircase lightly holding the cool marble banister as you go.
Halfway up the stairs is a huge window. The glass inside the windowpane is made up of circles that resemble the thick round bottoms of glass bottles. Windows from an earlier time. You open one of them. The view is astonishing. The golden valley you have walked through rolls away from you, on the other side is a small village with a bell tower clinging to the top of the hillside. You can hear the clock chiming three o’clock, and the chitter chatter of chimney swifts who are nesting everywhere in the old rafters above your head.
You feel a presence. Maybe a ghost. You have a sensation that it’s time for you to go. You retrace your steps and leave the castle, carefully putting the door with the broken hinge back the way you found it.
You follow the road retracing your steps through the forest back to the golden meadows. The afternoon sunlight, the whispering wind, the sound of the birds is hypnotic. As you are walking through the field, you find a patch of grass that is shorter than the rest. You decide to lie down on your back. The short grass is surprisingly soft, and the larger grass surrounding you reminds you of a nest. You look up at the blue, blue sky and close your eyes and drift into a deep, deep, sleep.
〰️ Clara 〰️
I am bringing my favourite outside experiences and imaginings to create visualizations that encourage peace and relaxation.