The air is clean and the sky blue as I carefully negotiate the back step.
Closing the door i make my way a few yards down the track, calling Dorothy to accompany me. Taking a few steps, she quickly decides that there is too much mud for Dachshund legs, and heads off in the opposite direction. With something of an effort, I comply and follow her through the long wet grass, teetering along the beech hedge to the edge of the pond. I stop and prepare to practice some zhang zhong (standing meditation) while Dorothy snuffles in the grass.
Facing South, the December sun is warm on my face, and the sounds of Rooks Chattering, and the cooing of Wood Pigeon interspersed with Blue Tit, Sparrow and Robin song is reminiscent of a late spring day.
With my feet shoulder width, i shuffle my boots down through the uneven grass until both feel level and even. Gradually, i begin the process of relaxing upward, adjusting back, knees, hips, and chest repeatedly, in an effortless effort to release to my full height.
As i coax my resistant body to central and upright (Zhong Ding), i can finally pay attention to my shoulders. Playing about with position until both feel settled and even. Releasing throat and neck, my face relaxes and my breath slows down, my mind slows with it..
Twenty minutes pass in a moment, and the sound of flies buzzing in the heat of the sunlit South wall draws me back to the here and now. I call Dorothy and we make our way back down the Beech hedge to the house, my steps looser and easier than before.