Littledean Roman Temple Site

2500 years of history and still going

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Sweeping the autumn leaves

Now the nights are drawing in and the days are that bit more cool, the trees are starting to look towards their winter hibernation. The chlorophyll is departing leaving the other beautiful pigments of yellows and oranges to shine out. Trapped glucose in the leaves creates the amazing firey red. The trees within the confines of Dean Hall and woods beyond glow like the last sudden flame of a dying fire and then the leaves start to drop.
I love the blanket they produce on the grass and the roads; the sounds and smells. There is simply nothing better than kicking your feet through a pile of autumn leaves!
However, occasionally, neatness is called for and so I find myself sweeping up the leaves from some of the paths around our home and in the gardens. My alter ego is a Tai Chi teacher with LotusLeaf Tai Chi and I began thinking whilst raking just how similar the two activities are.
Tai Chi movements are lead by the Dantien (one of three areas of energy, this one resides in the area of the stomach) and so too, I find, is the sweeping. Using a wire rake in wide sweeping actions from side to side, turning mostly from the waist.
The mind is emptied, in Tai Chi it is a purposeful emptying while the repetitive nature of the raking seems to naturally create such a state.
Finally, to outsiders, both can seem completely pointless! I have had many people say how they can’t see that Tai Chi has many benefits, after all you don’t sweat! And yet ask any long turm student and they are bound to tell you of an increased suppleness, fitness and general well being. The leaves? Apart from the wonderful leaf mould we will get from them next year and the tidying of the garden, what more purpose can you ask for but to spend time with an clear and calm mind!

Posted 7 years, 8 months ago at 8:37 pm by Katie Wright.

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