Tuesday, 10 August 2010
On Sunday, our Temple had an open house. And as I was browsing in the gift shop there, I saw a book that seemed to demand that I take it off the shelf...it's called The Busy Soul, and it offers targeted meditations, prayers and exercises for each season of the year. I opened to the summer section, and what did I see? A section about focusing on the here and now! Mindfulness!
So this morning, I sat for half an hour at my favourite Panera Bread, and I just was. Just like the title of another favourite book, Don't Just Do Something, Sit There: A Mindfulness Retreat with Sylvia Boorstein, I just sat and looked and listened.
The sky this morning in the Sunshine State was pewter grey. But unlike some grey days, the deep silvery color served to highlight and illuminate the hundreds of shades of green in the trees and bushes and grass. Everything was glowing with color.
I sat there, at my table under the overhang, just out of reach of the light drizzle, and watched the deep green fronds of a palm tree move in the breeze. I had forgotten how graceful their movement could be. How long had it been since I had really looked...watched...allowed my mind to really SEE the trees? Months? Years? I was entranced.
When I was a child growing up down here, I used to sit on my parents' patio and do this kind of mindful watching, as the trees by the water swayed and danced in the wind. After awhile, I could feel their movement, as though my body was a part of that wild movement. I could feel the wind's strength as it invisibly pushed big branches from side to side, or even in frenzied circles. I didn't call it mindfulness then. I had never heard the word. I just loved feeling as though I was one with the trees.
I guess I wasn't a normal child -- those minutes or hours I spent watching the trees on windy days were more interesting to me than whatever might have been on TV. It was an experience I didn't share with anyone for years -- and then it was greeted with looks of ....uncomfortableness. No one seemed to understand. So I stopped telling, and eventually, stopped doing.
From time to time over the years, I've spent a few minutes connecting with the movement of the wind and the trees. But I can't remember when the last time was. Until today. And the magic is still there.