My Friends Keeping Me Company As I Meditate
We were sitting in the garden for our morning coffee, talking about things in general and about how we seem to have changed in comparison to the way we used to be. I brought up the image of my mother-in-law who would sit in her small kitchen as a widow, looking out the window, appearing to be waiting for something to happen or for someone to come. I wondered if perhaps there was no waiting and that perhaps it was our assumption that she was waiting. Perhaps she was simply being present in the moment and not expecting anything more. It was with that wondering that led us to talk about when we were younger and how we would always say: wait until spring comes . . . as we planned all those things such as gardening, new flowers, long walks, spring activities, and more. Then we would find ourselves in the middle of springtime and say: wait until summer comes . . . with our dreams of camping, warm weather, touring, family gatherings, and more. Then in the middle of summer we would find ourselves looking forward to a different season, or a summer in the future when we would travel to some interesting and exciting new place. It was hard to find ourselves just being here in the present moment.
Have we found ourselves more present as we get older? I think so though it might be hard to quantify that thought. Talking about this wasn’t an escape from the present, rather it was noticing how we were at the moment in comparison to the past. And then it was time for me to move into the sunshine that began to bathe my usual sitting place on the patio.
I took my seat on the cushion, set my timer, and began the process of breathing in and telling myself, gently, that I was breathing in – breathing out and telling myself, gently, that I was breathing out – and shifting into some semblance of mindfulness. I can’t pretend to be any sort of master of this process, but it is something which I have learned to treasure in my day, an activity that is greeted warmly rather than something that I think I should be doing or something that I have to do. I sat, with my eyes just slightly open with my breath and saw movement of life around me, small movements. I heard sounds of birds, of a breeze stirring in the branches. I felt the sun begin to warm my body and small insects gently touch me before flying off. And, the small lizards, perhaps they were geckos, began to gather around and look back at me for a few moments before darting off to gobble a passing ant or other insect. I smiled inside and out feeling so full of life, glad to be alive.