One of the many sparrows that live in the rose trellis
My garden isn't very big. At the front there is a small lawn with a 7ft hedge around it then the road and then 10 acres of school grounds. Which although Trix and I believe to be part of our garden isn't really ours, well at least when the students are there, but when they're not there then....
At the back I have a small patio with three steps up to another small lawn and that is surrounded by trees and shrubs. To the side I have a path which is separated from the lawn by a trellis which is completely covered in climbing roses, clematis, honeysuckle, jasmine and wild sweet peas. It is a bird sanctuary! And currently there are at least 20 sparrows hanging out in it.
At the end of the garden is a large purple buddlia tree, which this morning has been accommodating numerous blue tits, coal tits and amazingly two nuthatches. On the other side is a red elder flower tree and in there is a blackbird or two and a couple of robins.At the house edge of the lawn is my bird feeder and a lavender plant on either side of the steps. Below the lavender is my conservatory window. And I sit here for ages watching the comings and goings of the birds, mainly when I'm eating my breakfast.
I have only seriously been into bird watching for the last year. Although it really started the winter I was sick nearly 6 years ago and staring out of the windows in that endless winter watching who stopped by to feed off the bird table was one of the few moments of tranquility in the middle of that dark time.
I digress though, this last year it has become a grand passion. I go proper bird watching, I have the books to check out what I've seen, I have a really good pair of binoculars and off I go, whether to Anglesea or Tittesworth down the road, I'm to be found in a bird hide.
This summer is the first that I have fed the birds throughout the year. Mainly cause the parent sparrows in the trellis seemed worn to a frazzle by having to search for food for their squawking young. I've seen birds who shouldn't be in my back garden come to feed, as in the young woodpecker in the photo, the nuthatches who are here today, they are woodland birds, the crows hanging off the bird feeder getting morsels of fat ball to feed their demanding young sitting on the top shrieking. There was the blackbird with it's two enormous offspring, far larger than it, which must have been cuckoos that the blackbird was attempting to satisfy, when they stood next to the food itself and demanded that the blackbird make the effort to pick up seeds and feed them. The jay put in an appearance one day,again another woodland bird. Admittedly I live very close to woodland, as in across the road, but it is unusual for some of these birds to make the journey over the roof top into a small suburban garden.
So what has all this got to do with mindfulness, well it's an amazing way to stay in the moment. When I am transfixed by the goings on in my garden I cannot think of anything else, as it's happening right now right here.
Which means I can keep the lid on thinking of the wonderful house and village I've discovered that I would love to live in, in Devon. The house is one minute from the sea, it is wonderful. And I can't get there.
Why? Cause I've finally got the new work I've been after, confirmed this week to start asap. I don't know how big this will be, at the moment I've got a pilot scheme involving two schools and hopefully three. Then there is the rest of the town to take on and then who knows....
This means I'm committed to here for a while, which of course is fantastic, but seeing this place in Devon has re awoken the sleeping giant that I worked so hard to make go to sleep last year, the desire to be somewhere near the sea and not here.
Hey ho, what will be will be. What is certain is I can only live in the moment so birds working at living is so good for keeping me alive in the here and now.So that I can only do what they need, and keep topping up the feeders so that I continue to get pleasure and stay in the moment, as of course do they!