One minute mindfulness
Here I am, pleased to be back after an interlude in posts due to what I will call ‘Random Universe Shenanigans’! I hope you find this Monday’s mindful moment a peaceful pause in your day. Have a great week, everyone!
My husband said something recently that really made me stop and think. “Isn’t it amazing”, he mused, “that something as monumental as the leaves coming out in spring makes no sound.” It was more a playful observation than a philosophical statement but beneath its playfulness lies a really rich way of thinking about our mindfulness practice. So much of what happens around us – often really big stuff – unfolds under the radar of our senses. Emerging fungi, spiders dancing across impossibly fragile webs, ants marching across forest floors, equinox and solstice, northern lights, the soil turning itself – all monumental stuff. And – unlike in nature documentaries* where sounds are added to phenomena beyond the capacity of human hearing – no sound.
Mary Oliver, in her poem, ‘No Matter What’ says…
No matter what the world preaches
spring unfolds in its appointed time…From Blue Horses
…and this made me think how some of the most monumental changes and realisations in my own life have arrived, unfolding, without the announcement of trumpets and cymbals. Rather, there is a dawning, a turning, a slow pulling into a station.
For sure there are thunderbolt moments that come in with a crash or like a chorus from Carmina Burana. And, of course, some things arrive with the devastating sound of the world imploding. I’m not talking of those life events but of other slower human happenings like healing, forgiveness and understanding; they often arrive humbly and without any dramatic overtures. In my experience, these life processes are signalled by a slow realisation that something has changed: a loss that hasn’t been consciously thought about for a few hours or days, an allowance for myself or someone else, a waking-up to a new way of thinking about a previously baffling situation, the soul letting go.
Unfolding can’t be forced or scheduled. Unfolding isn’t an event; it’s a consequence of being – in the world and with oneself. Unfolding happens…no matter what.
*In the course of research for this post I came across this fascinating video on how nature documentary sound effects – known as foley sound effects – are made: https://www.insider.com/how-foley-sound-effects-are-made-for-nature-documentaries-2020-12
we lie in un-mown grass
exhausted angels waiting for time
to ripen below our feathers
stilling blood-buzz of impatience
tuned to lift, fall, lift of oak leaf and fern
or this or
when we can unfurl our limbs
stand to watch
our presence rise again
in increments too silent
even for angels to fathom