Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Three Minutes

We need more time to do nothing.

Last night, driving home from Kung Fu, the pinks and oranges of sunset glinted in my periphery through the trees. You should stop, myself told myself. You should stop and watch.

But I'm driving, I reasoned. And when I get home, I have to empty the dishwasher, clean the kitchen, make lunches and fold laundry before I can spend time with A and go to bed. There's no time to stop.

Yes there is, myself told myself. Just for a minute. Just for three minutes. What difference will three minutes make?

While she was talking, my body had already turned the car down Beaver Creek Drive where I know there's a good place to stop and see the water. So I said yes, of course.

I pulled over, near the side of the water. I turned off the ignition, silencing the loud music to which I'd been rocking out. It felt like one beat of silence. And then...

the car suddenly filled with a wall of noise - a buzzing, croaking, clacking, singing, calling, solid brick cacophony. Or, another way, an unrelenting ocean of earth's song. I found myself completely and absolutely immersed in sound, filling my ears and nostrils, my lungs and heart and liver and pancreas and kidneys and uterus and all the spaces between the pores of my skin.That sound was me. I was that sound. I walked out on the concrete pier.

Hidden from me, frogs, insects, birds and animals sang loudly to the dusk with my spirit. Flocks of small, dark birds practiced precision aerial maneuvers against the glowing pink-orange sunset, cheered on by geese and warblers below. Fog billowed its smokey effects across the water's surface, as even the clouds joined this earthly celebration. Reflected upon the rippling surface, Sunset smiled a glowing smile of recognition and love to herself. Mosquitoes danced with excitement at the prospect of piercing my fresh flesh.

We humans are not a part of this party. We are not welcome guests. The birds warned each other of my arrival. The little animals scurried away from the harsh sound of my shoes on gravel. Only my stillness allowed them any ease. We have placed ourselves apart from the celebration of life that the rest of the planet is having. More, we have treated all other parts of nature as enemy, now vanquished enemy, devalued and enslaved. No wonder they don't want us around, no matter our intentions.

And yet, in my stillness, they accepted me among them. They did not stop their party for me, and my spirit joined their song to refresh and refuel that essence in my otherwise distracted existence. My heart opened with gratitude.

Three minutes made a difference, after all.

We have established society on top of nature, without regard for nature, even our own human nature. We need time to just be with what is, for our well-being and to begin repairing the rift we have created.