Wandering the urban wilderness

wandering the urban wilderness

I live in a village which is essentially a suburb of a small city. I am extremely fortunate to have a Wildlife Trust wetlands a few hundred yards from my doorstep. This provides me with an excellent place to walk my dog each morning and evening.

Although this time of year I often end up trudging along behind my hound in the dark, soaked to the skin and freezing cold it does give me an opportunity that you very rarely get living a modern ‘grown up’ life with a job, kids and other such time consuming aspects. It gives me a chance to think, reflect, pray or simply generally clear my mind (which some would say is pretty empty in the first place).

I am often struck by the contrast between the two worlds that exist so close to each other, one a busy village full of houses, shops, farms – people living busy, pressure filled lives, and the other a calm relaxing environment where the chances of coming face to face with a heron is more likely than another person.

In our busy lives it is easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of money, possessions, job status etc and forget what is actually important.

Here in this wilderness, hidden amongst the houses and cars that we have strived to afford, it is somehow easier to contemplate on what really matters. Here what possessions really matter? (apart from the obligatory waterproofs!) – here you are alone with your thoughts, here you can pray and truly listen.

People often say they don’t get the time or opportunity to pray – look for these places where you can be alone and make the time.

People often say they pray but get no answer – look for these places away from distractions where you can concentrate on listening.

These places exist everywhere – a local woods, a secluded garden, driving alone, a church or simply a room by yourself with no radio/TV etc.

Why not give this a try each day this week, even just for a couple of minutes. In the time it would take you to make a cup of coffee you could take the time to listen – who knows what you might find?

– Graham

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