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Today I encounter an extraordinary meadow where shimmering yellow buttercups extend as far as the eye can see. Interspersed among them are the flowering heads of dock plants, turning from green to rusty red as they do at this time. And all through both of these stand seed heads of the meadow grass, green but with a hint of hazy blue in the distance. A wren flies out of the hedge nearby, showing me where it’s nest is: a rare thing for this private bird to do. It seems at ease with my presence. I stop still, knowing this is going to be something out of the ordinary. I’m amazed that something as wonderful as this great field is tolerated here, seemingly just for it’s own sake,  in England’s agricultural landscape today.

The scene is totally absorbing; I feel united with it, infused with the intense energy of the here and now, transported into the infinite present moment. I am immersed; nothing else exists:  nothing beyond this fragment of time and space. As I linger in its presence, the sense deepens further and fills my whole  consciousness. Everything else that is beyond is in a state of suspension. I realise that I am experiencing something very important. It’s a feeling of ecstasy, transcendence, powerful transformation..

I become aware of the additional presence of sound in this visual landscape, revealing itself in evolving: first a nearby blackbird; then a song-thrush further off; a pigeon cooing in the distance; and finally rooks, barely audible, right at the edge of th soundscape – the edge of this little universe. With this, the transcendence deepens further. I could stay here for ever..

Later, when worldly turmoil re-surfaces, I summon once more in my mind this treasured moment of pure joy and peace, and am calmed. “This is what is important”, it is telling me, “This is what is real and enduring. The rest is ephemeral.”

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Urban Wild Garden is the website and brand for the book, “Wilding the Urban Garden: An Illustrated Diary of Nature’s Year” by Gerry Maguire Thompson

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