A warm sunny late August day saw me, once again, within the green wonderland of history, nature and fresh air, which is Dublin’s Phoenix Park.
I have the great privilege, of being able to visit the Phoenix Park very often and once within its welcoming precincts, my heart bathes in a warm glow of gladness and my spirit, no matter how down I may be feeling, invariably rises.
Today’s visit however, I do believe, felt an exceptional one. At its start, as always, I slung my rucksack on, pulled my headphones on, tuned in to some beautiful symphony music, popped on my sun hat and was away walking once again, within my very own paradise.
I love being close to magnificent trees; wandering along trails and meandering bridal paths. I quickly left Chesterfield Avenue behind and headed in a northerly direction among the welcoming oaks, on a winding trail adjacent to the parks perimeter wall. As the crow flies, away off to my right, but well out of sight, was the parallel running, North Road.
Maybe it was the near perfect nature of the weather. Maybe it was the sun allowing its golden shafts of light to glint playfully through the branches of the great oaks and adorn the leaf strewn path ahead of me, with angular brush strokes, like a glowing art work of nature, in progress. Maybe it was the soothing audio balm, of delightful symphonic music as it flowed, like a therapeutic river of joy, deep into my consciousness. Maybe it was all of the above and much more; who knows? All I know is, that in those beautiful moments, I felt at one with nature; a deep deep contentment, the likes of which I do not recall, ever having experienced before.
I walked onward along the path, which eventually led me to the Phoenix Park old School House and there, I crossed the North Road and entered the beautiful arboretum, just inside the periphery of Ashtown Demesne. As always, I lingered for a brief period, in admiration and in awe, of the gloriously lofty sequoia (red wood tree) and it’s many splendid companion tree species.
There were many people in the park, but today, it was as if I was in a different place. As if I had been transcended. Although I could see people, my consciousness was captivated like never before, by the beauty of the nature which surrounded me. I felt so deeply immersed, in the twin glories of the environment and the melodic symphonic sound, which was so delightful in combination, that one could almost taste it.
I continued along the periphery of Ashton Demesne, a walking trail which I had enjoyed on many previous occasions. As I progressed, my feeling of transcendence intensified and at one point, having emerged from the trees, small butterflies began to rise from the grass in front of me and flutter playfully, across my path.
As more and more butterflies rose up, to add to the beauty of my path and joined in their wonderful aerial dance, I felt as if I was being transported to the orchestra pit from whence this glorious symphonic sound was flowing; that I was observing myself, on a giant screen, wandering, so contentedly, among those beautiful butterflies. In those moments, I longed for the ability to freeze frame that scene; to set the freeze frame clock for 1000 years. As the scene began to fade, I gave the most grateful thanks to my parents, for having created me and thus allowed me the great privilege of conscious witness, to such immense beauty.
I ended my walk, with a most extraordinary feeling of deep contentment and a wish for many more days like this. My wish was not just on my own account, but also for all of my Brother and Sister humans, as we travel along life’s amazing journey.
Two friends of mine, on two separate occasions, gave me gifts of plaques which carried the following messages:
- “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass … It’s about learning to dance in the rain”
- “Life is a journey, enjoy it”
After nature, within the Phoenix Park, whispered to me in such a profound and reaffirming way, I now read those words with deeper seeing eyes and with a true comprehension of their meaning.
Now, having read the post; sit back, relax, close you eyes and re-travel that wonderful journey. It may be the very type of therapeutic imagining which will deliver to you also, that sense of contentment which I enjoyed, while experiencing the original moments.
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