We live in a village half way up a mountain on the island of Lefkada in Greece. It is a rural place with many stone cottages, surrounded by olive groves and pines. Our house is small and needs a lot of work, especially the garden but it is very beautiful.
Living here has been a huge change, coming from a commuter belt town in Sussex, England. The weather makes such a difference. Today I was lounging in the garden with 20 degrees of heat and it is 10th November! I love it.
There are of course negatives to the place but for me the positives far outweigh them and I am very glad we made the move here.
One of the extraordinary extras I get most days is the view. We have a balcony that looks out across the Ionian sea and some of the islands. The sun rises in the east, just to the left of the panorama and the mountains of the mainland become suffused with pink, yellow and red every day around 6.30am to 7.00am.
Before I open the curtains I already know that there is going to be something amazing out there because the whole room will be filled with a glow of warm golden light. But each time it takes my breath away. Today the red and gold and orange washed over the whole of the mountain range and I caught it at its most thrilling, before it faded and a few minutes later the sun rose.
So what does a view do to a person. Why does my heart ache when I see it and my eyes grow bigger. Why must I stop and stand and relish its magnificence, preferably with a cop of tea in my hand and two kittens on my lap. New additions to our family.
I think it is a kind of meditation to sit and look at a view. When you meditate your scope of awareness can open up to take in the world. Space becomes huge and a stillness suffuses the mind. The same happens when you sit and take in a view, listen, look with wide eyes, and a sweet ache fills the heart.
Next time you are up a mountain, or looking at the sea, or gazing out of your window, give yourself time to let it fill your heart.