I have the intention of starting each day in nature, offering a prayer of gratitude or blessing, no matter the weather. I’ve set this intention before but sometimes the bed is so cozy or the day so cold that going outside to pray takes a lot of effort. I’m so glad I did this morning.
It was cool & foggy in the predawn hour. Secluded & silent. The world belonged to me, my cup of coffee, & my dogs. I gave thanks for my many blessings then lifted my eyes to the maple tree praying next to me (or perhaps it was listening to my prayer). I gasped with amazement & awe. The patio light illuminated tiny, perfectly-formed droplets of dew on every blossom & twig. It also revealed countless delicate spider webs, draping the tree like glittering garland on a Christmas tree. Dewdrops are more precious than diamonds, in my eyes.
There is nothing man-made that can surpass the beauty inherent in nature. I’m no poet & my words will never do justice to the magic of being PRESENT this morning.
After breakfast, I walked around my back garden, marveling at the spiderweb “hammocks”, made visible by shimmering dew droplets, nestled in the shrubs, like cupped hands cradling something fragile. I imagine these exquisite webs to be fairy beds. (Yes, I fully intend to keep my imagination & childlike wonder my entire life.)
This morning is definitely one of the most memorable experiences that I’ve ever had. Others including a perfect rainbow arching over my house a month or so ago (how tempting to search for the pot of gold) & a moment in the mountains when the world was black & white like an Ansel Adams’ photograph because bare trees black with wetness contrasted so dramatically with the fluffy white snowflakes that landed on them.
What richness there is around us when we take time to see!
“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have.” Eckhart Tolle
Be present. Logical. Makes perfect sense, right? So why is it so difficult to follow this advice in stressful situations? In these moments, we revert to our familiar pattern of behavior despite knowing deep down that “now” is all we have.
This topic led to a rich discussion, with friends, about how we handle challenges in our lives. We seem to fall into two broad categories. The first group sits & thinks & thinks & thinks… until whatever they are thinking about has grown into something much worse than it really is. Logic becomes the enemy, creating monsters in the closet. The other group rushes full speed ahead, doing things to stay preoccupied so they don’t have to face the problem. I confess, I’m a thinker who plays “what if” with both my past & my future, coming up with multiple scenarios so I have even more to worry about 🙂 I know it’s not helpful yet I do it anyway. Many of us tend to do the one thing we know doesn’t work for us.
Here’s a possible solution… do the opposite. When thinking leaves you more confused & anxious, get physical. Garden, exercise, try a hobby, or play with your dogs. When running to avoid your problems leaves you saying things like, “I’m so busy that I don’t have time to think”, get quiet & still. Listen to your heart.
Do the opposite of what you normally do when you are stressed. Reach for food? Exercise. Go shopping? Clean out a closet, giving unwanted items to charity. Call everyone you ever met for advice? Look within yourself for answers by meditating or journal writing. Get outside your comfort zone & see if the change does you good.