Walking Meditation Wicklow

Entering the woods. Sunlight filters through the trees, this late December surprise of sunshine. I'm walking, and I'm conscious that  I'm at risk of making this walking meditation another burden in my life. ~How interesting the number of things in my life I can use to make myself a whipping boy.

So I decide to stop focusing on the meditation and just relax and walk. I pick up some pine cones. I remember that we are short on Christmas decorations for the house, so I collect more pine cones - we'll have fun tonight spraying them silver and gold.

Its so quiet in these woods. Nobody else around just now. There was a lovely woman in the car park just getting back into her car with her golden retreiver. We had a brief chat about what a gorgeous surprise of an afternoon it had turned into, and about dogs, and how strange it feels to me to be walking without a dog.

Sandy died a few weeks ago. I'm not ready, yet for another dog. But I know that some time soon I will be.

And look. Here I am already at the summit. The sun will be setting soon, and this part of the woods is already in shadow. But the sun is still shining in the distance, on the green fields leading down to the sea. This is a lovely spot in summer, but with the wind and the temperature hovering around freezing, I don't linger. I admire the view and then turn back into the shelter of the woods. I pick a different path for my return.

The granite paving at this high spot is just beautiful in this light. I notice it as I turn to walk back towards the woods.

As I walk back into the trees, I start to notice fallen evergreen branches, and decide to collect a few of these too, for house decorating. Then I notice how much holly there is growing in these woods. I know that holly is endangered, and I know not to collect holly carrying berries, but I take a few green branches. They look so beautiful later that evening, when they have been sprayed, and creatively located around the house by Ruth age 12 and Andrew age 6.

The sun is getting lower in the sky now. Another half hour and darkness will fall. One or two people have passed me, we've nodded and said hello. They all have dogs. I felt naked as I started to walk without a dog, without a purpose to my walk, but I've settled into it now. Oh look! A grey squirrel, climbing the tree over there. Not so rare as the red, but not that many squirrels in this area, so nice to see it. Makes me remember going to look for squirrels in the park in Birmingham with my Babcia when I was very little. Seeing squirrels always brings me back to little K. I once even said to a client on a golf course "Oh look - a squirrel!" with such excitement, I think he thought I was a little insane!

And look. I'm back in the car park, with my pocket full of pine cones, and my handful of evergreen branches and holly. As I reach my car, another woman with a dog speaks to me. "Did you see the decorated Christmas trees?" She is so excited, childlike excitement as she tells me that up in the woods, along a different path to the one I took, there is are two growing Christmas trees which have been decorated. I missed them. I'll come back another day with the children. I don't know who decorated the trees, but I do know how much joy they have given this woman in front of me.

I put the holly and branches and cones into a plastic bag in the car. I sit in the car and think - "Oh look - it was a walking meditation after all!"


  1. Thanks for doing this. It took me right along with you. And yes, what could have been a grump-along (it's cold, it's dark, I miss my dog) you turned into an experience to open your heart. I loved the green in your photos--so lovely!

  2. Fabulous photos xo

  3. We are blessed with green in Ireland. We forget how precious and rare it is in the world.


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