photo credit: “https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image
When I woke up this morning, I didn’t want to get up. Not that anything horrendous awaited me. Not that I was sleep deprived. Not that I was depressed. Not that it was unusually cold outside or warm in the bed. (Wendy is away. I sleep alone this week.)
Not that anything. I just didn’t want to get up.
Somedays I don’t have much choice, but today I do. So I lie there, something I don’t do very often. Two minutes of mindfulness. Fully experience this waking moment. Then, I pick up the book I’m reading. (Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton, a splendid memoir http://momastery.com/blog.about-glennon). I set my alarm, give myself half an hour to read. Delightful time. Such good writing, such good story telling, such a pleasure, to sink into a really well written book by such an aware, open woman. When the alarm goes off, I could happily keep reading, but duty calls.
It’s garbage day. Recycling too. After a cup of coffee, I begin wheeling the carts out to the curb. Cold wind. The sleepiness is gone now. I watch the squirrels dart about, springing from one branch to another. Such fine, little athletes. Grace, timing, balance, precision. Chasing. What are they chasing? What am I chasing?
I scan the sky. Clear, blue, expansive. A few, low clouds. Feel the wind blow across my face. The cold feels good now. Alive. Alert. Awake. The tug of the heavy recycling bin pulls on my triceps. The crunching sounds of the wheels on the gravel driveway. Placing the bins at curbside, I remember a flyer that arrived this week, with pictures of how best to position the bins. I place them just like the photo, smile with pride. The satisfaction of a small task, done well.
It is a good day to be alive. Too often, I do this little ritual – taking the garbage out – and come back in having never experienced what I was actually doing, lost in my head somewhere, thinking about the coming day, my to do list, focused on some task for later in the day, oblivious of the only thing that is real, this moment. Mindfulness.
So much of life consists of small moments. Sometimes I am present. Too often I am not. I miss the show, quite literally. Never experience that brisk air kissing my face. Miss the whole symphony of my footsteps and the wheels of the recycling bin crunching across the gravel. Never really see the squirrels leaping across space. Trapeze performers, those squirrels are.
Not being present is like sleeping through life. And then, one day, it’s over. “Did you see it?”
“No? You missed it. I’m so sorry. Maybe next time. If there is a next time.”
I commit myself to being present today, to living each moment as fully as I’m able. Being mindful. Mindfulness is free. It’s available. Wherever you are, there you are. If you’re there. If you remember.
So easy. So difficult.
Open the heart. Quiet the mind. Experience life in technicolor.
It’s a good day to be alive. And awake.