What Can We Learn from the Countryside?
So, the first thing that I would suggest is that when you go outside, remember to look around you, what can you see? Whether it’s massive majestic mountains or amazing lakes or fantastic woodland or even amazing hedgerows and the various different views all around. Just remember that the countryside is amazing. Everything about that world is amazing.
Sometimes people will say, ‘when I look at those things it kind of puts me in perspective to I realise I’m really, really small’, well, that’s rubbish. You are just as amazing as every other thing that is out there. You are a part of that world, just as much as a buzzard is, a fox is or an oak tree is. All of those amazing things are part of our world and part of the world that we are actually a part of, despite our best efforts to isolate ourselves from that world.
Now, not only are you an amazing part of that world but everything that is out there is connected in one way, shape or form or another. You’ll probably remember from school days when you studied food webs or food chains. You know, the grass is eaten by rabbits, which are eaten by foxes, which are eaten by buzzards for example. Every single thing that is out there is connected. Now, that means however you want to look at it, you are connected to that world. There are occasions when we have to work hard to remember that, but when you’re connected to something and your part of it, then you should look at it again. What is it about that out there that you can learn from?
Many of us worry about what we don’t know, stating, ‘I don’t know what anything is called!’ Well, do you know what, nor does a fox, nor does an oak tree, nor does blackthorn and nor does a field of wheat. And you know what? They’re all doing their thing, regardless of what anything is called. They don’t care. They don’t care at all, it doesn’t matter. A fox is busy being a fox, doing it’s fox stuff. He might be catching a rabbit, but he doesn’t care what it’s called as it’s just food and he doesn’t care that we might also call it dinner! That’s all there is. Don’t get hung on what things are called. Don’t get hung up about what the names of things are. Don’t get hung up saying ‘but I don’t know anything’, because it doesn’t matter, it absolutely doesn’t matter. Just enjoy it as part of the world.
And do you know what? If nothing’s, got a name, there’s no ego out there either. There’s not one creature out there in this world that’s got an ego, not one drop; a tree hasn’t got any ego, a fox hasn’t got an ego, it’s just doing what it does. There is no ego out there, there’s no self-importance among any single creature out there. Not one of them. That’s quite refreshing. And because there’s nothing out there with any ego or any issues or anything to worry about.
I actually don’t think anything out there really, really worries, even about getting eaten, because it’s just a part of life. They’re just doing what they do.
But if you also realise if you look out there, everything that’s out there knows what enough is, it doesn’t eat twice as much as it needs. It doesn’t catch twice as many items of prey as it needs. They just get enough, although the fox can get a bit enthusiastic sometimes, most things know what enough is, they don’t need more money, they don’t need more food, they don’t need the next iPhone, they don’t need the next big flat-screen TV. Everything out there knows what enough is, absolutely and totally. Isn’t that amazing!
When was the last time when you had the most amazing tasting plate of food on your table that you couldn’t stop eating until it was all gone even though there was more than enough?
That seems to be a long-forgotten, but an amazing concept that enough is actually enough.
You should then think about how everything survives. If you’ve ever been in the woods when a tree has fallen over, look at the size of the root ball, it’s really tiny compared to the size of the tree, you think of 100m tall tree that blows over and that root ball is no more than two, three, maybe four metres. Why is it that a tree can stand up with that small amount of root? It’s because it’s flexible. When winds hit it, it bends, and when they stop blowing it all around it stands back up again. Nothing out there can be so destructive, that has so much energy that it will last forever. Be like the tree. Take that flexibility and when whatever is coming at you has done its thing, stand back up again just like trees do.
And when the storm is raging, all the creatures just get out of the way, they let the storm come through. And that’s important when you think about it as well, because how many times do you get hit in one way, shape or form, something hits you like you get a letter through the door that delivers bad news, or you get an unpleasant phone call, someone wants to steal your business, your house is going to be reclaimed or you’ve lost your job, any of those things. How many times do you respond immediately, with anger or aggression or any other unhelpful emotion? Just stop, take whatever’s coming, wait for a day, because just like that tree, whatever is blowing, will blow for a time, and if you let it blow through, you can deal with it so much better and so much more easily when it’s passed. Why not be like the tree or the fox in the hole. Let the storm blow through, it’s absolutely amazing to be still and have patience.
The world out there has patience. If you look at buzzards, they spend as much time up in the sky riding the thermals with their wings out wide, effectively doing nothing, or be as the red kite that will just sit in the tree. They don’t use energy unless they need it, and they stop and they think and they just look, and they have inner peace, and have stillness. How cool is that? Absolutely brilliant.
Possibly though, the most amazing thing that’s out there to learn is that nothing, not one thing in the countryside has any judgement of anything else at all. Can you imagine a world without judgement?
A fox doesn’t judge another fox, he doesn’t judge a rabbit, he doesn’t judge a field of wheat, it doesn’t care. All it does, as I said at the beginning, is just does what it does to survive. He doesn’t put anything else down, it just gets on with its own life. All the creatures out there do what they do. The sea rolls up and down the beach and it does it bringing in peace and bringing calm, unless there is a wind behind it, but there’s no pre-judgement. How amazingly cool would it be if there was a world with humans who could live like that? That is awesome and you can see it outside all around you every single day. So, this may be the most important thing to learn.
There is then though one more very important observation we must make.
A while ago I was leading a walk experience when we saw a fallen silver birch, the roots standing at a right angle to the ground, just a small proportion still attached and keeping the tree alive. It then looked like the trunk was still upright, but no, it was a branch that had taken on the trunk role. I then saw that many branches had done this too. I then realised another very important message the countryside has to give us.
Every other organism in our world wants to live and live no matter what. That fight never stops, ever. Because there is no ego, nothing ever feels that troubles are particularly theirs. There is no suicide in the natural world.
That is massive!
So, if you like to read cool bit size chunks of books on countryside well being, as well as a decent dollop of countryside love, countryside judgement, then I would say just look and listen and if you want a bit of help with that, come along to Simple Life Circle, because we relax and we connect and we learn, and do you know what, happiness body awesome – live it.