I'm writing this standing up. It's either that or lying down. The pain in my back is too intense to sit down today.
And yet I'm feeling happy, optimistic, upbeat.
It was such an effort to let the dogs (three springers) out into the garden this morning, but as soon as I breathed the clear morning air, heard the birdsong and saw the dogs happily racing outside, I smiled.
Walking slower than I normally do, I noticed the incredible green of the lichen on the hedge. I once tried to mix paints to replicate the colour - impossible. It changes frequently, as the sun moves. Then there was the wonderful texture of the star moss growing on the apple tree, made fluorescent by the early morning dew.
As I looked closer, I noticed the different colours and patterns made by the lichen and the peeling bark, was amazed to see just how many seemingly inert branches were covered in tiny buds. The half-hearted nests long abandoned in the hedge, the gnarled, tangled exposed roots of the hawthorn, the dew on the spider's web.
I normally rush everything I do. There are so many things I'm interested in, things I want to do I'm rubbish at slowing down, pausing and just sitting. Several people have pointed out that the reason my photos are always so bad is because I press the trigger as I'm moving on to look at the next thing.
My dad was the master of just sitting and looking, noticing beauty even in the mundane. He was dismissive of people who see a wonderful sight and instantly reach for their cameras to mark the moment, "they look, but they don't see". I remember him pointing out the exquisite markings on a butterfly, still loving the wonder of nature even when he was very ill.
This morning there were moments in the garden as I watched the sun rise, heard the birds sing, smiled at the dogs racing around as if they'd never seen the garden before, that I completely forgot the pain of a trapped nerve. The tiny details of nature achieved something the painkillers failed to do. Taking a few moments to really see, there's such joy to be found in the small things. And this time the pictures are blurry because my old phone isn't great for close-ups, not because I was in too much of a rush... I just wish my dad could sit and see them with me.