I remember seeing Ram Dass speak years ago, and he pointed out that meditation was a lot like old age – you slow down, you see less far, you move less quickly. Unable to rush about, your attention turns inward where, without distractions, you are able to see more clearly your life and its lessons.
One of my first posts here was about my friend George who hunts for beauty and when he finds it sits down and breathes in ten deep breaths of the beautiful thing before him. He says that when he is done, he is sometimes free from the emotional pain of some terrible losses. At the very least, he says, he always feels better.
So these are goals of mine – to slow down, inhale beauty, look inside. But at 70, my eyes and hearing are still pretty good. My legs are good, thanks the the New York Times 7 Minute Scientific Workout which I talked about here. I’m not complaining about any of these lucky blessings, but running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off remains one of my favorite things to do.
Still, I find that every morning if I start my day by going outside and sitting among the trees and birds under the open sky, if I thank my creator for the morning’s beauty and allow it to take me over, the day goes better. More gratitude, less fretting and worrying and regretting and prophesying, all that crap that always makes me unhappy.
The other morning, I was sitting on the steps and my eyes fell upon a dying vine that had only a few leaves left. I was thinking I need to compost the vine, when suddenly the sun breaks between some trees, and lights up the few remaining leaves from behind, imparting to them an emerald glow. Then an ant walks across the glow, it’s little legs and antenna backlit by the sun. I’m wondering what must this feel like, this sun-glowing leaf against the soles of the ant’s little feet. And then, swear to God, a hummingbird flits up and lands right on the top of the vine, sits pipping and ruffling her feathers. And I know that the most common hummingbird in So Cal is the Anna’s Hummingbird, and my Mother’s name was Anna, and Spring is coming so the anniversary of her passing is near. But here is this moment, now, three feet away, the sun through the vine with the ant on its journey, and my Mama’s hummingbird – all of it emerald-ly glowing.
A solemn, “Wow,” rises from my soul!
But after a few minutes, I start wanting to get on with things, make some coffee, make some phone calls, write in this blog. I keep thinking the hummingbird must be going to fly away any minute. But no, she just sits there tittering and fluffing and glowing.
I start thinking, “Don’t you have somewhere to be, bird!?”
Across the yard, my dog starts raising Cain. He is a miniature Dachschund, and therefore not prone to good judgement, but he is carrying on like there’s a Coyote, which could be in our neighborhood. I jump up and go over where I find, not a Coyote, but a rollypolly bug, viciously rolled up and ready to strike.
By the time I get back to the steps, it’s all gone, the sun has moved behind the trees, the leaf no longer glows, the ant is vanished, the hummingbird has flown away.
It is such a relief.
And yet, this was one of my most beautiful moments in recent memory. I am so grateful. I am wondering what else I am missing running around like a chicken with my head cut off.
God Bless Us Every One
Originally posted 2017-02-11 18:59:37.