I’ve been working a lot at my computer lately….too much actually, as I try to learn and understand how to be a better content contributor to this world and as I learn how to manage and maintain this new cruise-ship of a website. However, eventually the brain can only absorb so much new information and it becomes necessary to get up and MOVE the body.
Since I work at home, I have the great luxury of just stepping outside my door into my garden and doing a bit of garden maintenance. Like many parts of the country we’ve been suffering under unusually hot and dry conditions the past 6-8 weeks so there has been a lot of watering that has been needed just to keep the plants growing and prospering. I love watering… pouring water onto thirsty ground is a very satisfying endeavor especially when the plants so willingly reward the action with beauty, fragrance and fruit. I know that gardening-as-life metaphors are as abundant as weeds and blooms and most are better written than I could ever hope to accomplish given my skills as a writer.
But the ability to appreciate, quietly in the moment, from a place of inner wonder and delight is something we all seem capable of doing. And the good news is that at any unexpected moment, we can be caught off guard and slip into a moment of reverie which is often followed by a feeling of gratitude for being alive. Pure and simple. This experience, of feeling gratitude seems to open us up, however slightly, or briefly (or permanently in those bigger experiences) and it allows us to feel connected to something greater than just ourselves….even if we cannot define it, there is something inexplicable about how a simple delight can open the human heart up, allow us to take a deeper breath and for a moment, forget our troubles and sit in a state of contentment.
Watering finished, I was trimming out the spent blossoms of feathery Astilbe and cutting back the faded leaves of the Columbine plants when all of a sudden, my nose was tickled with a honey-sweet fragrance that filled the air with perfume. I stood upright trying to locate the source when it became rather obvious… the tall lily that my sister had given me last year was finally in bloom and it was glowing with magic and fragrance. I stood still, drinking it in, eyes closed. When I opened my eyes, a butterfly was trying to do the same but the bloom was huge and even though the butterfly was large, it was not easy for it to get to the sweet nectar. I watched as it pushed this way and that, trying to reach inside the large trumpet. Finally the geometry of wings and petals aligned and the butterfly was able to slip along the petal edges into the inside of the enormous bloom for its sweet reward.
That is us, I thought… just trying to find our way to the sweetness in life. And here it is all around us. We just have to work patiently and courageously and eventually the geometry of the Universe lines up and assists us in reaching our moment of delight.
“Sure,” I can hear you say… “easy for you to feel…in your garden….with butterflies and blossoms all around. But what about me, stuck here in ______ ” (fill in the blank with your current situation right NOW). So here’s the thing, these moments are available to us all at any time. Just take a moment to look away from your screen…and observe your unique surroundings…in your office, in traffic, wherever you are….pause, go ahead, look now… without trying to see anything in particular, just look. There will be something that catches your attention. Let it. Dust in sunlight. The color of a co-workers shirt, the shimmering air on a distant horizon, the smell of coffee brewing down the hall…. it does not matter what it is, just let yourself be captivated. Let your attention narrow to that one bit of attention-getting stimulation. Drink it in. And realize that no matter what it is that grabbed you, it has its origins in the earth.
Everything that we see, everything that we smell, everything we sense with our bodies comes from the earth. Even the concrete, steel and plastic of the modern built world all comes from the earth in one form or another. Let that part of you that is of this earth connect to these manifestations of earth and let the boundaries dissolve, just a little so you can feel the alchemical connection between you and the Earth-as-provider of all we see and need. Let that understanding in and let it fill your heart…close your eyes if it helps you sink into the awareness….breath in the simplicity of you and the Earth, here as connected beings in this one, singular moment.
That is it. The secret of rejuvenation, centering and appreciation is rooted in being present in the moment and using our attention to consciously focus, for a small period of time, on our connection to this earth…our home, and let that connection resonate in our being for as long as we wish.
Bright Blessings to you!