Stop. Breathe. Wonder.

Sun Captured by Deborah Sloan

Stand still, stand still and stop the sun! (May Sarten)

Sunday afternoons are when I head to my poetry books, mindfulness texts and the laptop to make my notes for the meditation sessions I’ll be running in the week ahead.  And here I am…blank page and a blank mind.  Well, it feels like a blank mind but an image keeps coming back to me – something I came across on my walk home from work the other day.

It was one of those moments when nature reveals herself in all her beauty, and when you least expect it.  As I trudged up a busy road, mind and body weary after a long day, my brain was already home, and I was ticking off the things I needed to do after I took my coat and shoes off.  In the midst of this list-making I glanced up ahead and a tree on a corner close to where I turn for home seemed ablaze in the autumn sunshine.  It was, quite literally, breath-taking.

What surprises me now was my initial reaction.  I was so focussed on getting home to ‘get stuff done’ that my brain was trying to convince me I had no time to stop, breathe and wonder at this beautifully transient moment.  As I neared the tree, I asked myself:

  • Who’s driving me on and past this tree?
  • What is more important than this moment of unexpected beauty?
  • Why am I so afraid to take just a few minutes to soak this in?
  • Where else if not here?
  • When will this happen again, exactly like this?

Reader, I stopped.  And it was hard to do – my anxiety-driven ‘you don’t have time for this’ voice was very loud in my head.  But there and then, sandwiched on a grass verge between two lanes of rush-hour traffic, as the local college students crowded onto a bus, as the bus rumbled off, I put down my laptop and handbag and stood under the tree looking up at the sky peeking through the sun-soaked leaves.

I took a moment…and it has given me something that way outlasts that moment.

So, ‘Stop, Breathe, Wonder’ forms the basis of my week ahead.  And my ‘autumn tree in the sun’ moment reminded me of this poem by May Sarten that really captures that sense of becoming, emerging and growing in these unexpected and seemingly everyday moments. I hope you enjoy May Sarten’s ‘Now I Become Myself’ as I do.

Go well, my friends. Have a good week.

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