All life came out of the ocean; each one of us comes out of the waters of the womb; the ebb and flow of the tides is alive in the ebb and flow of our breathing. When you are in rhythm with your nature nothing destructive can touch you… To be spiritual is to be in rhythm.John O Donohue,Anamcara
Life is made up of rhythms. There is an innate, primal connection between the rhythms of the sun and the rhythms of the soul. People of many religions and none understand that the movement of the sun and moon profoundly affect us on earth. Our calendars, weeks, seasons and festivals are shaped by these rhythms.
The word rhythm comes from the Greek verb, rheo, meaning to flow. We feel this instinctively. When all is right with the world, everything flows without effort: our rhythm is attuned to the rhythm expressed in nature. Just watching the hypnotic ebb and flow of waves on a shore stills the soul. We feel the rhythm as we watch, drawn into its trance-inducing motion and the soothing sound of the ocean.
The enduring appeal of walking and running is to be found in their rhythm – simple actions repeated over and over. We were made to move in rhythm, alive to nature. We feel it, we know it, its part of who we are.
Outdoor adventurers engaged in very different pursuits have a common sense of flow. Flow is a state of unity, of deep connection where feelings of separateness are suspended in graceful movement. Mortlock refers to this as a sixth sense in which kinaesthetic bodily movement is in perfect rhythm. In ‘Beyond Adventure’, he goes on to say: “I felt as though the whole of me, consciously and subconsciously, was merged into this experience. In that sense, I would say in those moments my entire being was in complete harmony. The word ‘flow’ describes exactly how it felt.”