Saturday 28 January 2012: The Wharfe at Kilnsey
Worth going big!
It has been a quite staggeringly beautiful day here. I waited for the air temperature to warm up a little (and for England to be rolled over for 72 to lose a riveting test match to Pakistan!) before heading out at lunchtime for a cycle up the valley. I was intending to go to Buckden for about 50 miles, but I stopped so often to take pictures on the way out that I had to turn back a little short at Conistone to ensure I beat the light. I probably needn't have worried as it's staying so much lighter in the afternoons now.
So, I had lots of photos to choose from today but settled on this one because it's only a sight you get to see in winter, the trees obscuring this particular perspective once they come into leaf. The view opens up only briefly and, as it's on a descent, it is normally gone in a flash. You can make out Kilnsey Crag on the left and see Buckden Pike, the highest snow-covered peak, in the far distance. I really like the muted tones where a smattering of snow lies in the fields.
While on the bike today I've been focussing on being in the moment, and I really think cycling encourages this practice. This is the concept of mindfulness, as mentioned by a few people in their comments to Thursday's Sensuous Participation. Mollyblobs posted a link to an article from Psychology Today called The Art of Now: Six Steps to Living in The Moment. The ideas here are familiar to me, and I'm sure to a lot of other people too, but they are so clearly and simply expressed in this article that it makes for a very compelling read. I can thoroughly recommend it if you have ten minutes to spare.
It led me to revisit thoughts I had many years ago that this kind of thing should be taught to our children at school. Why should we not teach our young people such basic principles in order to enrich their experience of the world? Is that really so radical? Facts are safe and sound but feelings are almost taboo within our education system. Why is intellectual intelligence addressed to the almost total exclusion of emotional intelligence. It was quite a way into my twenties before I realised that 16 years of formal education hadn't really equipped me with any kind of useful tools to deal with the larger dimension of life. That's when my true education started.