Sitting in the sun in the back yard, a cool breeze blowing across my face, hearing the rustle of the leaves overhead.
It’s not often that we allow ourselves a few minutes pause to absorb the warmth of the sun and hear the rhythm of the neighborhood: a few birds, cars braking at the stop sign down the hill, a distant lawn mower.
Mostly, we’re consumed by the need to be doing something — or feel like we’re doing something productive. It’s good to make a positive difference. Yet it’s nourishing to pause occasionally, allowing ourselves to feel the warmth from our nearest star, the coolness of a dry breeze, to hear the bird songs.
We need that perspective to give us meaning.
The morning crisp and cool, the sun’s rays warm on shoulders, a neighbor’s lawn reminding me to be present in the moment.
This week I flew to Sweden for a one-day meeting. That humanity even has the ability to do that is a miracle and something to be grateful for. But that’s not the point of this post.
My flight left Boston shortly after 7 pm Tuesday evening, and a short five-and-a-half hours later, I was changing planes at Heathrow. Although it was morning in London, my body clock was protesting that it was still the middle of the night, albeit confused seeing the sun.
This photo was taken somewhere over England, on the flight from London to Gothenburg. The combination of morning sun and the usual cloud cover made for a spectacular view.
The warmth of the sun’s rays streaming through the window even made up for the short night.
And did I say that it’s a miracle we can do this?
Capping a long week,
I settle into a chair on the deck
and close my eyes.
The warmth of the afternoon sun
plays tag with a dry, cool breeze
across my face.
The birch rustle gently,
occasionally overpowered by
the wind mimicking the surf,
pushing through the pine branches.
How many different bird calls?
One playful, one incessant, one urgent.
A car going through the neighborhood,
now a plane far overhead.
My eyes open to a flood of green, spring green,
the white blooms of a dogwood,
and the golden hue of a sinking sun,
warm upon my face.
dog in my lap.
Let these moments last forever.
Life need be no more.
Indeed, it was a wonderful spring day in the neighborhood, Mr. Rogers — sunny and warm.
And an unexpected gift.
Planning to be in Europe all next week, I expected to spend a manic weekend packing and catching up around here, after being on the west coast much of last week. Late Thursday, starting to stress, I recognized that I didn’t have to go to Europe, that I should tend to the more pressing priorities at work and couldn’t afford to lose a week traveling.
Friday morning I pulled the plug, canceled my reservations, apologized to my co-workers whom I was to accompany, and shifted my focus to those more pressing priorities.
That decision allowed me to awaken this morning to a day of relaxed and infinite possibility, especially with my family in Florida. Just the dog and me. Both of us took advantage of the beautiful weather for walks, I wrote two blog postings, and I finished migrating this blog from Blogger to WordPress (not a pretty process but I’m basically there — assuming you’re reading these words).
It’s also nice to officially express gratitude after an absence of some four months. Not that I’ve been ungrateful. Just lousy spiritual discipline.
Those mornings when the sun is out, our Miniature Schnauzer positions herself on a chair in the dining room and sun bathes. She sits quite still, happy and content.
Seeing her meditative pose this morning reminded me of the simple gifts we experience every day. Just a moment of presence can enable us to remember our blessings: the warmth of the sun, a sip of coffee, a deep and conscious breath, a smile, a hug, remembering someone dear to us, a melody, quiet.
May your day be filled with these precious moments.