Pulse, and breath…


“Here we go round the mulberry bush on a cold and frosty morning…”
I wonder if Van Gogh sang this in the asylum as he painted? “…painted during a time of great self-awareness and yet surrounded by chaos.”

“On a cold and frosty morning…” is an action song my wife sings as she teaches infants to swim. It’s essentially a rhyme about action… “This is the way we {insert action}…”

This week, on a cold frosty early morning, the sun was still below the horizon, the city was waking. As I rode along the banks of the icy river Soar, through a frosted Leicester city, I caught the distinct smell of Asian spices on a frozen morning air. Just delightful. The contrast of the warming aromas and all the significance and colour that goes with the flavours resonated through the ice gripped air like music.


Been thinking recently, about the pulse of life, and the breath of life.

It would seem one cannot exist without the other. Pulse, and breath.

Those that ride bikes, indeed anyone who does cardiovascular exercise regularly, will be familiar with with the rhythm of our pulse and our breath. My daily commute brings me more in touch with my pulse and my breathing. As does the act of singing regularly. You find a rhythm in your breathing and become aware of the body’s mechanism, the physical act of inhalation and release of breath.

But we don’t have to exercise to feel alive. If you are reading this, rejoice, you are alive. Just pause, relax, breath in and… feel alive… …stretch. Hold that breath, and hold onto life. Release your breathe, open your hands, and give it away. Keep your hands open…

There has of course been much study around our breathing. Yogic breathing, slow breathing etc, the health benefits around the recognition of our breathing. I am not going into this here. I am just thinking about the initial momental mindful notion of realising we are physically alive and the celebration of that.

You may also feel the pulse in your body. Your pulse is separate from your breath. A rhythmic core beating literally in the heart of you and resonating through your body. Your pulse may be quickened by your environment and the things you encounter and entertain. Our culture has a pulse, the things and ideas we subscribe to have a pulse, the infotainment we imbibe has a pulse.

It seems we rarely celebrate the breath of life. We celebrate its pulse, through our art, food, technology, entertainment, music, sport, products… Rightly so! Our creations add a pulse and drive to our being. But behind or inside the rhythm of life is our true breath and heartbeat. It is this core heartbeat and breath that brings true life. It can be hidden or smothered by the intense noise of our culture, language, and interactivity.

To simply feel the wind, touch the sky, receive an embrace, shake a hand, dance and sing, can realise an essential reverence for our world. To see the stars, soak up the rain, walk barefoot, truly notice a wild animal…

“This is the way we breathe again… on a cold and frosty morning…”


By julesprichards

Anchoring in the shire, with family, friends, coffee and cheese… always looking…