I’ve just been doing some exercise in a small local park, the latest in a long line of attempts to lose the belly that I have been slowly acquiring since giving up football nearly 30 years ago. I feel much better when I’m fit, especially in the morning when I wake up.
After doing some press-ups I sat down on a bench to recover. I was the only person in the small park, the dog walkers and mothers with young children all having gone home. The wind was gently blowing the trees around and all you could hear was the rustle of the leaves in the wind and sunlight.
Such scenes must be happening around me all the time but I rarely notice them. However, this time I did and it was mildly pleasant; a nice break from thoughts about myself. As usual I determined to pay more attention to the world and as usual I immediately forgot. My mind just naturally returns to its usual habits and is unable to maintain an interest in trees, grass, wind and sun for long.
Can these nice interludes last or are they of their nature just short respites? Hard to say. I suppose the release from self-thought could be liberating in the long term but self-thought just comes so naturally to me – and to most other people, too. There surely must be a reason for this, possibly cultural but equally possible evolutionary, and I have no great desire to go against evolution unless it’s really necessary.
Though the interplay of sun and wind on rustling leaves was nice it evidently wasn’t not nice enough to hold my attention for long. Maybe if I formed the habit of noticing nature more often I could break the habit of self-thought. Or maybe I’ll just continue as I am. It’s easier.