This autumn we all managed to get together to go blackberry picking for the first time in ages. It felt exhilarating to be out there, harvesting nature’s abundant and plentiful fruit. I felt the wet rain on my cheeks, heard the rush of the wind as I reached up for the little black jewels that were just out of my reach, and we all went home and baked a flavourful apple and blackberry pie.
I noticed that everyone in my family had their own particular way of moving comfortably. My son and I chose the higher branches, my daughters collected from the middle regions of the bushes, while my partner looked for brambles beneath the lower leaves crouching down.
Upon reflection, finding our own way of moving comfortably gives us freedom to choose the activities we want to enjoy most with our families and the ability to be flexible and strong with physical exercise. When I had debilitating back pain and was told by a professor after an MRI scan that I had to stop moving, to stop, basically, doing everything I enjoyed in life, the little girl inside me said “no, I won’t”. To me movement is health.
I then read a book by Thomas Hanna about paying attention to how, when we move more slowly, we can move more comfortably. The pain and discomfort I had been experiencing for years was not “set” after all, but could be changed. How amazing it is now, that I can walk the fells again, not have to think twice about the gardening and can impulsively go foraging for blackberries. What can you change in your life simply and for the better?
Karen Douglas de Fenzi