Walk with me

I live near the North Yorkshire Moors so I suppose my favourite place is there, being as it’s wherever my head finds itself. This is because many years ago I took part in a guided meditation where we invented our own favourite place.

Let me describe it to you a little.

To reach it you have to close your eyes and take a step into your mind, leaving your body behind as you find your way. A couple more steps now, like the children going through the wardrobe into Narnia, and there you are. Now you can see the path leading across the meadow of wildflowers. It’s high summer and the sky is full of birds singing. You can feel the warmth of the sun on your face. The meadow is on a hillside so you will have to climb up through the flowers and butterflies to get to the top. It’s like climbing up into heaven.

When you get to the top you can see the wood at the far edge of the meadow and make out a path leading into it. The wood is dim and cool, and provides some shade from the sun. You can hear a brook a little further in and smell the smell of damp earth and green growing things. The birds are in the trees still, their songs like liquid gold.

Following the path may take more or less time depending on how you feel: the journey only takes the time you want to spend on it. Now you follow along the edge of the stream, watching for the sparkles in the water where the sun reaches through the canopy of trees. As you come around the final bend you see the cottage. The main thing about it is that it is warm and snug and waiting for you. It will smell of fresh coffee and warm bread and all the other smells which comfort and soothe the weary heart.

Inside the cottage there are any number of rooms to explore. I like to go to the library and sit in the armchair while I read or write or daydream. The armchair is a big old leather monstrosity, sagging a little but ready to fit to my shape. There’s a soft blanket over the back to wrap round you as the evening cools. You can sit here and rest from all the troubles of the world for as long as you like while the sun streams through the window, and the shadows of the trees waver on the opposite wall. A feeling of peace and calm will fill you and you can take it with you, stepping just so to slip back into the waking world.

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