We set off, slowly. Nature is as it always was, yet it is more present than ever. I hear it crunching under my feet; I smell it, like a touch of fresh hay; I feel it living and pulsating all around me. Without thinking about it, I realise what sensory-centred walking means. Step by step I merge with the trees, the grasses, the peaks on the horizon. E as in e-motion.
We stop in a clearing. We look out over the wide expanse of the valley basin and the green splendour behind us. Our guide is there: she answers questions as she accompanies us, yet always lets nature take the lead. Silence reigns. Such moments need no words: instead of indulging ourselves in conversation, we record our feelings and thoughts in a nature diary. R as in reflection.
On the way back, written words become spoken words. Our group exchanges ideas. We shift from communal reflection to casual chatting. We express thoughts that connect us. D as in dialogue.
The journey comes to an end and we form a circle to talk. I have arrived: my destination is myself. I have become one with nature. I have looked beyond the edge of the forest. We all feel how the mountains get under your skin. And so we have achieved the aim of the excursion: nature is not something that merely surrounds us, but we are in fact a part of it. E as in End.
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