My Natural Path to Nurturing Peace
by Mike Horsfall
How does a working class Englishman naturally find peace?
As man we are judged in every way, physical strength, emotional disconnection, manliness, the ability to hide affection. We are ruled by the material world and social acceptance of our status by flawed societies. We are put on to uphold the discipline within the family, the unspeaking ruler of our subjective realm, disconnecting knowledge from our children. We grasp at surviving the material world, desperate, to hold, own, show the latest status symbol, of wealth or conquest.
My Path to Purity
As man we lose the quiet of our own minds, we plod along the same trodden path of our making, blindly following the rules of media and social pressure, not showing our individuality. The revolving cycle of this ever crushing society, removing the balance of life. As man we escape little to the quiet places, walk less in the path of pure enjoyment, each journey a social conquest to better the next man. Our actions only more empower the control of society and the accepted role of ‘Man’.
As man we have little to disconnect us from the ever turning wheel. But it is there, the true essence of understanding, the true power in the mind. Every man has these moments that single minute in a day, whether it be standing outside smoking a cigarette, noticing a small bird hopping along a wall, a child kicking a football in an alley. That instant the mind is quiet. If you observe a man in this moment the wrinkles on the brow subside, the eyes dance with flame, the shoulders relax and their mind is quiet. It may be fleeting and gone in an instant but it was real.
My Moment of Natural
I’m no philosopher, no university graduate, a simple manual laborer who’s worked hard. I found my moment by chance, sitting down on a bench the weight of the world on my shoulders, debt, stress, martial issues. My head in my hands the tumbling thoughts of what ifs jumbling my brain. Out of the corner of my eye, right there next to me on the bench a robin. Its small head cocked to one side looking straight at me, as if looking straight in to me.
Frozen in fascination at this small creature next to me, not judging my clothes, my appearance, my wealth, I watched as it walked the bench pecking down on the flaking bits of paint. One last look and it flittered away to a nearby bush. My mind stayed in the moment watching as it flew from bush to bush, then down to the rocks to drink from the river. By then the sounds were entering my head, the small noises we never take the time to listen to, and the subtle sounds of the world of nature. I had found my quiet, my Home. I was no longer strategically planning my next move, balancing the books, looking at a phone. In that instant the world grew large again.
These days, it’s the small things that I take the time to see, the intricacies of a spider building a web, the way the rain drops never follow the same pattern down the window. These moments now my mind is quiet, I can think. The small moments that I take build a better understanding of me, how I place myself in this world, how I interact with others. The simple language of sensation and feeling, the words that touch the senses, build inherent memories of specific events or places. The ability of words that bring forward these memories. This I’ve found is my key to interaction. Using this I’ve guided a few of my friends, some inherently don’t like nature, but could quietly clean the chrome on a motorbike, cast a rod into the water. I remind them that these moments are where the weight of the world disappears.
Mike Horsfall is a working class Englishman who lives with his family in the Lake District in Northern England.