Many spiritual traditions teach the lesson of mindfulness: focusing on the here & now, being attentive & mindful of everything around you, that rises within your mind, but without grasping to hold on to it.
I’ve been practicing today, and here are some of the things I experienced…
Sun & warmth, the warmest day of the Spring. It calls to me, begs to be lain in, luxuriated in like a long hot soak in a tub full of water. Spring sunshine on my bare body, resting beneath the warm, life-giving sun. Muscles relax into limp pools as they melt in the warmth. So nice, the kiss of breeze, rolling around hot skin, a cooling touch, so gentle. The trees toss & turn under the deep blue sky, swaying so gracefully. Birds, newly returned, serenade my ears, flashing here & there as they work on nest-building. A woodpecker hunts for food, his rat-a-tat-tat echoing through the tree-drum and off the hills. The sound of humankind, carried from near, and as sometimes happens here, far: car engines, traffic, planes passing high overhead. Skin getting too warm, sweat beginning to flow. Shifting positions, redirecting the strength of the sun to other spots, muscles long tight loosening up in the relentless warmth. The sky seen through the intersecting branches, the blue-purple mountains beyond. So beautiful, so peaceful, so safe. Perfection.
And from earlier:
I watch a pair of squirrels, perhaps 20′ away, and they were so absorbing. The first one, dashing to the ground, digging furiously, then dashing back up to her fallen branch perch. She sits and peels her find, always her ears listening, pausing to check for danger, then back to eating her prized find. Finished, she assumes a different position, body slung low against the branch, tail flat, front legs extended & head stretched up high. She freezes in position, and I think I would not know she were there, so perfect is her camouflage, her stillness. She hold this position a long time, and it reminds me of a yoga position. Soon she is back to the ground, and another squirrel, smaller, scrawnier, joins her. He has but one thing on his mind, and tries to mount her several times. I wonder how long it takes squirrels, and if he has succeeded before she turns & chases him off. He is more brave – or foolish – than her. He rustles through the leaves on the ground, but she clearly wants to have the safety of a tree or branch under her feet – she dashes down, focusing on finding food, and returns a few feet up a tree or a branch. Several more times, she assumes the odd position, once while “upside down” – her tail flat against the tree to the top, body stretched out against it, front legs stretched out holding her chest & head up high, and freezes in position. Marking her territory? Spreading her scent to call more males? It is entirely ritualistic, intensely instinctual. Altogether intriguing.
Not a bad day, all in all. Headache rising now, and very tired, but that’s okay.
Much better to focus on the gifts the Universe provides than those She takes away.
(Sun image from virgomerry)