Nature - the gift that keeps on giving by Gaynor Quilter 
This is not a political statement about the environment, although my Christmas “hope” would be that we all set an intention to care more for The Earth in what ever way we can. 
At this time of year most of us are thinking about gifts for loved ones. I love Christmas time, but there is always a shadow over my heart as I no longer have to look for presents for my Mum.  
I’ve realised over the years that the greatest and most enduring gift she ever gave me was the gift of nature. 
As some of you will know I go out for a walk every day. There is no excuse, Jaya and Bankei our two Border Collies will let me know when it is time. I am outdoors whether it’s raining, cloudy, blowing a-gale or there are rays of sunshine and beautiful blue skies. 
A Mindful walk is part of everyday. It’s another form of practice for me. Whether through movement, on a bench or laying on the earth, I can observe my body and notice the different aches, pains, twinges as well looseness, expansiveness, space and connection to my senses. 
In mindfulness practice terms - there’s focus and breadth of awareness. The breadth of the whole and the focus on the specific, such as the sound of the birds, the rustle of the trees, the movement of the clouds, the crunch of your feet on hard ground. 
Today it’s the smell of rotting leaves and stagnant water. The heat of being wrapped up warm under my hat and inside my gloves, the movement of my hair as it’s whips around, the coldness of my feet and the distant sound of an aeroplane. 
The walk is my daily balance point - tuning into both Internal and external weather. A free gift from nature to - just be. 
My mum’s generous spirit is never far away from me. So in what would have been her 81st year, I wanted to be able to share with others a daily picture from nature. Intended for those who might not get access to nature but still want to look at it. Or even those who don't get out daily and seek a reminder. 
I’m also drawing up a list of care homes so I can email them the daily in nature picture to put upon their receptionist’s TV screen. So if people you love, be they 81-year-olds, 71 or 91 year olds or of what ever age, can’t be in nature as much as they would want and the care home would be willing to receive and share a daily picture, then please let me know and I will add them to my circulation list. 
Happy 81st birthday Mum. The picture of my Mum sharing nature with the next generation! Circa 1983. Pictures will be posted daily from mindfulness cic on Instagram, Facebook and twitter. 
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