I've been practising meditation and mindfulness again lately. Just 5-10 minutes every day.
Life has been... stressful. So while I was walking, I decided to try a bit of mindfulness. A few deep breaths, taking my focus away from my thoughts... it was surprisingly easy. Practice must be paying off. At first I tried to focus on the movement of my legs, but it didn't stick. So then I decided to focus on my breath. Then I ended up focusing on scents. And I quickly sunk into this state where, rather than being honed in on my vision and what I could see, I instead was centred on my sense of smell.
I could smell all the different types of trees. They all smell slightly different. The piney ones smell like home.
I could smell the wooden fences as I walked past. Some smelled newer, and I could still catch an impression of that scent of freshly cut wood. Some smelled more old and decayed.
I could smell the earthy stone of walls and houses. The houses here are all old stone. All real stone.
I could smell the metal of silent, sleeping cars. It wasn't a bad smell.
I could smell the fresh rain on the ground.
Occasionally I got a hint of cigarette smoke from somewhere I couldn't see. That was a bad smell.
And I could smell this weird mixture of "human" scents. Some were organic, others were not. It was strangely hard to figure out which was which.
Then I got to my flat. It smells familiar and cosy. It smells of me and my dog and the carpet and furniture and walls and still air and comfort. It smells nice.
I don't have a particularly good sense of smell. Usually I don't notice all these little things. It's amazing the difference it can make, to just... stop and focus, for a little while.