Life Outside the Window #naturephotography #newengland

It is raining here today. Thankfully. The water cools the heat that should have left by late September and covers the dirt in the empty stream beds. I have never seen such dryness where I live. The lake where we spend much of our summer has receded by feet from the shore. The sandy cove popular with swimmers, now a vast mudflat exposing the spindly legs of a dock that no boat can go near. It is surreal. It is so uncomfortable to observe, I could not take a photograph.

Each day brings a new challenge to face, asking us to learn how to live on the edge, and quite often inside the roiling elements of life. Too often, I find I am chasing after my breath and asking it to expand out of the constriction of my lungs. I got outside during these moments and lay on the good earth to sync my heartbeat back to the mother. It is best way I know how to live inside chaos.

The area where I live has become beloved in a way I never thought possible. A simple acre of land surrounding my home somehow enough to show me the vast wonders of creation. Life contained, yet not contained. The birds come and go and so do the squirrels and the chipmunks. The trees stretching networks of roots too vast to comprehend the mystery of what it means to be rooted. We can move without moving, and with my belly pressed against the grounded life that deep stirring fills the ache of belonging.

Life has become a game of tension and release and I often wonder who is really controlling the bind. I wonder how far we need to go back to remember the vast connection that both binds us into division and frees us into unity? This juxtaposition of a truth that seems alien to our rights if you feed into the beliefs of the mind struggling for separation.

As I listen to the fall of rain and the birdsong of gratitude I am reminded of how false the hold is. The entangled mind that tunes into dissonance feeds a disease that spreads through all minds if the frequency is found and listened to long enough. Why boil the internal waters if what the body needs is a cooling into peace?

Presence

I think the secret to life is presence. Yesterday, while zipping into town to grab some food, I found myself listening to a passionate lawyer on NPR talking about the opioid crisis that is afflicting the United States. Just now, I was pulled into presence by my fire alarm, which decided to go off for the second time today. There is no fire, aside from the light that burns within. The alarm, a mere reminder to stop and be present with it.

Sun and clouds
The Light Without is also Within

I call it stepping into the heart-space. All it takes is a breath. All it requires is the intention. The focus of the mind returns to the center and the light within that is recognized as a wavelength connecting all.

Peaceful sunset
The Tranquility of the Still Mind

As I sat in presence, feeling the energy course through my being, my mind compared it to a drug. Mind you, in the interest of full disclosure, I have never tried an illegal substance in this lifetime. I haven’t even smoked a cigarette unless you count second-hand smoking, but I have this stubborn belief that the drive to get high from a drug would disappear if we all learned presence. With one conscious breath, we are there. No pill. No injection. Just breath and intention. You don’t need to be a guru. You don’t need to hire one.  You simply need to surrender and trust. To let go the restraint of the mind. The secret, you see, is already within you.

Why we stop

stop sign

I’m having one of those quiet days that come to me when my children and husband are back in school and work after a vacation. The house is quiet, aside from the occasional sigh and bark from the dogs, the whirr of the pellet stove, and the click of the keys on my computer. There is the scratch at the porch door that gets me up and moving to let in the smaller of my two dogs, and the ensuing smile that reminds me that love is about patience and the willingness to shift.

Today I am pondering the pause, the quiet space in our perception of time when stillness takes over the kinetic moments of life. Transitioning from one extreme to another can be uncomfortable, it’s a bit of a shock to the system of self. We can find ourselves a little lost in the place of quiet space where we wait for the next event to occur.

I love solitude, sometimes I crave it to the point of irritation. I need it, we all do, and yet I also crave the yell of bliss that ignites the spirit, forgetting that I can have both. I dwell on the wait, wondering when the next body of words will form to create a poem or a chapter, when someone will call for a healing session, or Spirit will bring me another gift of journey. I get caught up in the wait, forgetting that it is the very gift I need most.

Canada goose on pond

We feel the pulse of our divine light when we succumb to the deep breaths of silence. Here we remember who we are and where we come from. We recharge and realign so that we will be ready to move again.