Do you notice trees? Often I do, and I’ve been doing it a lot more in the last few years. There is something about meditating that gently prods you into noticing nature more.

Why is this? It’s probably because it helps you see that you are part of nature. I know that sounds a little annoying, a random platitude. The ‘me’ from, say, five years ago would probably be rolling her eyes upon reading this. She’d mentally check out, her eyes scanning over the rest of the words without really reading them. ‘Yeh, yep, we are part of nature. Snore. Whatever the hell that means.’

But it’s true. We are. I can sometimes see this – I mean really understand it. Not all of the time. Not in the lightly grisly moments of everyday life, when I’m shouting dire and dark warnings to the kids like, if you touch your seatbelt again, there will be no more Lego. Ever.

Since I started meditating, I’ve started to really dig nature more. The two just go together. I look at a tree and think a lot about how it’s been there for a long time before me and how it will be there for a long time after me. And flowers. Sheesh. Don’t get me started. I thought they were pretty before but now often I will stare at them for a number of minutes and think: ‘Who made you so beautiful?’

And when you start to meditate you see – as Rumi wrote in What Was Told, That: What was said to the rose that made it open was said/to me here in my chestthat which made the trees, the flowers, the beautiful, exquisite planet… made you.