When people think of England they often think of green rolling hills and beautiful countryside, the ideal idyllic. And yes they do exist, but the hills roll whether there are fields or not. Recently I was visiting The Black Country, where I grew up, and drove through Pensnett, a town which is part of the urban sprawl that radiates from Birmingham. Pensnett is not the most glamorous of places or the most scenic, as even my friends who grew up there would admit. However it struck me as I drove through that Pensnett is situated on top of rolling hills. Rolling hills of houses in every direction. Cars and pubs and buses and houses, all oblivious to the land undulating beneath them.
It’s amazing that I’ve never realised this before. Somehow when a place is a part of your everyday life you take it for granted. When you stop for a moment though, and really look, you see all sorts of new things. You can wait for moments like that, sudden realisation triggered by I’m not sure what, or you could take steps to induce those moments.
I guess it’s about being mindful of your surroundings, but how can you achieve that? One thing I like to do to try and trigger some mindfulness is to look up. This technique especially works in cities, where our heads are down engrossed in our phones or avoiding the crowds, and yet above us are buildings with lives above the street. It works outside of towns too, looking up at the peak of trees, watching the world that lives layered on top of ours.
And sometimes you see something.
A little spark to make you see anew, and smile.