I didn’t want to go out today, and as I began the walking, my brain was all a-chatter – my writing project for today, people I want to talk with, project visions. So much chatter in my mind I was barely watching my steps or the ground or my surroundings. Only noticed it the air a little less bitter than yesterday.
Made my way towards the creek and wasn’t feeling motivated to actually go to the water’s side. To my surprise, I found myself veering in the opposite direction into a little clearing, and sat down (thank goodness for snow pants for sitting on the frozen ground!). Turned on a timer for 5 minutes, and just sat with my eyes closed. Slowly breathing, slowly letting go of the chatter, slowly soaking in the now familiar gurgle of the creek, the distant honking of geese, the twittering of birds, the dull rush of cars far away.
No surprise to me, I felt so much better afterwards. I say no surprise because I know in theory how beneficial meditation is, BUT it’s not like I ever actually practice it- except maybe when I’m improvising something like an extended version of River Dawn – when I do that I do have to empty my mind and open to the stillness.
Apparently Andrew Wyeth sat still in nature as a regular practice. Richard Meryman (his biographer) tells the story of how Wyeth was lying in a field so still for so long that when he got up, a mouse scampered out of his pocket!
So, now I know – hoping I do more of this – opening, receiving, quieting…
Jan 29, Chester County PA, temp 25F