I decided this morning, as it was such a lovely morning, to forego my usual trip to the coffee shop, lovely though that is, and take a long walk. So, armed with a small shoulder bag containing a notepad and pen (just in case) and an apple, and leaving the mobile phone in the flat (a challenge in itself) I set off.
With the flat, calm, mirror like sea on my left, just beyond the saltmarsh, and the fields on my right, I walked for a while, receiving many hello's and some intimate attention from a rather large, muddy, and extremely excited hound of some kind.
I turned right and headed off into the woods, leaving the sea and the walkers behind me. Very soon it was just me, and trees, bluebells, a small lake. The air was so fresh and clear, there was a calmness, a stillness. I knew I had made the right decision.
I became aware of the sounds around me. Of my boots crunching, of bees buzzing, of birds calling, the sensation of the breeze on me. I felt my heart open. Something deep within me resonated with all of this. I felt alive, joyfully and consciously alive.
It was so good to be walking, such a normal thing but so wonderful. Many people can't walk or have difficulty walking or just won't walk. I walked for them, and for me. It occured to me that walking in nature like this has inspired poets and truth seekers, lovers of all ages, and still does. It is how I imagine heaven, not some metaphysical idea that is the property of the religions, but existing right here, right now. And here I was walking in it. Then I had this thought, from where it came I have no idea, but come it did.
I thought that, when I die, as die I will, and of course I hope it will be in the far distant future, but whenever it comes I want it to be on a day like this, the freshness of a spring day, and I want to be hearing the sounds I was hearing while I walked, and feeling the joy I was feeling as I walked. And I want my ashes scattered in a place like this, on a day like this.
Then I will truly have lived, and died, in this heaven on Earth, on this planet called Earth. And I will be returning to the earth, from where I came, from where we all have come. And I will be truly, and completely, going home.