Wonder and Mystery

Hiking in the woods three days ago, the air is soft, the sun warm, the snow retreating.  On the ground, patches of brown and green colors revealing themselves. Birdsong.  The slow signal of seasonal change. 

Today hiking in the woods, snow is falling.    

Nonetheless, I stop and take a deep breath. There is space around me, no other moment than these moments. Time stretches – it feels more elastic, less caught in a never ending cycle of twists and turns, that can become tighter and tighter.

With this tangible sense of space, I can explore, wonder, inquire, and reflect. I see the individual shape of the trees, their outline, their strength, their brokenness.  I see the space between them.

We are not used to the freedom of space, of not needing something else; its potential for liberation; releasing us from the tyranny of wanting.  Of desiring more and more, until we feel satiated or equally sick.

Practicing mindfulness creates the possibility of space. Finding a place to practice where we will not be interrupted, where we can feel safe. As we come to stillness, we experience tiny spaciousness moments revealing themselves in the mind and heart, uncovered on the breath and then gone. Fleeting. But with continuing practice, these moments return, again and again.  In this way we build foundations of care, and trust as we step into new territory. We sense moments of lucidity, of calmness.  And when we do this, we prepare the ground for new experiences of wonder and mystery.  

Spring is this time for letting go all of all that is no longer necessary or useful.  Mindfulness practice helps us with this, creating connections and pathways in our hearts and minds towards our better selves.

A calling , a beckoning, here, now.

 In Blackwater Woods 
 by Mary Oliver 
 Look, the trees 
 are turning 
 their own bodies
 into pillars  
 of light,
 are giving off the rich
 fragrance of cinnamon
 and fulfillment,
 the long tapers
 of cattails
 are bursting and floating away over
 the blue shoulders 
 of the ponds,
 and every pond,
 no matter what its name its
 name is, is 
 nameless now.
 Every year
 I have ever learned
 in my lifetime
 leads back to this: the fires
 and the black river of loss
 whose other side
 is salvation,
 whose meaning
 none of us will ever know.
 To live in this world 
 you must be able 
 to do three things:
 to love what is mortal;
 to hold it 
 against your bones knowing
 your own life depends on it;
 and, when the time comes to let it go,
 to let it go.  
Snow lingering