I look out on a beautiful day, even as I read of southern California burning up, and the southeastern parts of the country living with drought. The wake-up calls on global warming are coming fast and furious.
Perhaps, it is punishment for not punishing war profiteers. I always thought war profiteering was a crime. Of course, I also thought the president had to obey the constitution.
That said, I am a happy camper. It is my birthday and I am 58, a wonderful age, in my opinion, to be. I am not old and I am not young. I am "just right."
Steve and I are taking this day to "Play!"
Jane and I have always written poetry in our morning writing together, but today, we tried a new form. Jane found it difficult, and I see that the way she is doing it, there is no way or place to escape. I always thought poetry was the "deeper" medium, but I see it can sometimes be a way to "hop" along. I won't place what she wrote here but I will place my morning musings. Jane would like to see me write about Sensory Awareness, to explain it and guide people through it. She sees that in my "illness," I stayed in the body, connected with others, and played. How, now, do I convey that to people who are not in illness, as I am now not? It is easier to be "present" when one is forced to by lack of energy or breath. It is also easier when one is injured and with each movement, pain calls out "Notice." It is more of a challenge to stay present when one is well, and in that wellness, the mind runs round and round with things to do, be, say.
Anyway, here are my morning thoughts on Presence.
I say the word presence to myself and settle, settle into my chair, into the floor, and in that, my torso automatically reaches up. I rise, easily as a redwood tree, straight, and clear, aware of my connection to others through the ground. My roots, though tangled with other roots like those of the redwood tree, are also deep, as well as shallow. My roots reach like water to know and open the ground.
I read that children are not going outside, are not building treehouses, exploring creeks and skipping rocks. How do we know our own boundaries, our own bodies if we are not testing them against bark, rubbing against the skin, to feel the heart of trees? How can we balance like a branch if we’ve never climbed out on one? How might we bounce and bounce back if we’ve never watched a stone skip up and down across the water?
I also read that workers now entering the American work force need praise for everything they do. They haven’t learned the inner reward that comes when the first thrown rock thrown hits with a thud and the next begins to skip. Anne Lamott writes of being taken, as a child, to the library on Tuesdays and Thursdays and allowed and encouraged to go through the books, any books, and lean into dreams.
Children need free, unstructured time, as do we. Children are following the adults, which means no pause. If there is a pause, it is a class teaching them to relax. It is not getting to know one tree, one lake, pond, or section of land.
Children in the past learned the work of their parents through play. They often had chores at an early age. I learn now that many children are being so prepared for “college” that there is no time for them to play outside, to backpack or camp. Somehow, this is not seen as showing up on an application or resume. I find that hard to believe. John Muir had time to tramp and write and work to save the precious land. How did we get so held in the head, so deprived of awareness of nature, our own nature, of the rivers and lakes inside?
The snowy owl has a place in each of us. We each need our place in the woods to live and hide.
Note where your eyes rest and what responds.