I had a stomach bug a couple of weeks ago. Which was decidedly unpleasant, and I wouldn't recommend it - however, it did give me a bit of slow time at home that I wouldn't otherwise have had. On the day that I started feeling better and could look up from the couch, I did my usual morning peering out over the back field, which was just the slightest bit hazy with morning fog hanging low. Our property has a steep slope down behind the house, bottoming out at the brook that crosses the width of our land, then the field slopes back up again and is backed by the treeline. That's where we see our sunsets, swinging from left to right as the year progresses, and then back again. It's also where the sun first hits the ground in late winter, skipping over the shadowy lower field, the brook, and the barns. It's where there are often deer, grazing just out of the protection of the trees. That morning, there was a deer visible, but its colour looked odd. I used the binoculars for a better look, and saw that it was more grey and less brown. Something moved just to the left of the deer, in the trees. I waited. After a moment, a doe slowly walked out from under an apple tree. Deer one suddenly made sense. It was a fawn; its size was just skewed by distance and fog and my not-quite-functioning post-illness brain. I kept watching the pair as the doe calmly walked out from the trees and went about her cervine breakfast. In stark contrast to her peaceful grazing, the fawn started leaping, skipping, kicking its back legs out behind it, and rubbing its face in the grass. Then it would run around some more in a wide circle, stop dead, and then start all over again. The exuberance of spring was so perfectly captured in that fawn.
It was truly one of those moments where time stopped and I was completely in harmony with what I was observing. I would not have had that moment if I hadn't opened my eyes and looked for something to be happening. There is always something happening.
That evening, tired out and on my way to watch another episode of Murder She Wrote (my sickbed show of choice), I passed by another window that looks out to the backyard. I checked the hummingbird feeder for the millionth time - it had been up for a few weeks, but there had been no sign of the hummingbirds' yearly arrival. Lo and behold, a flash of red, a shimmer of green, and a beautiful male ruby throated hummingbird was perched and feeding.
In those moments where time stands still, "it is". And I am in and of "it". (It's more than "it is as it should be", because then it becomes about what it should be, and the mind takes over with all of the shoulds and the moment is lost. And of course it always "is", but I'm not always attuned.) There's no logical explanation, no definition or words. It's not like everything is okay, or good, or right - it is layered, and visible, and invisible, and dark and light and good and evil and every shade of every colour in between and so incredibly vast and incomprehensible, and yet somehow contained in a fawn dancing and skipping and playing, and in a hummingbird whizzing around the backyard.
These are the things that life is for. Being human. Feeling the tiniest part of it all and knowing that there is so much more depth and mystery and wonder than we can possibly take in. (Insert praise hands emoji here.)
This all ties in to all kinds of things I enjoy learning, reading and listening to about mindfulness, meditation, and those sorts of things. I find that I am at my best when I have that sense of being attuned to the world around me, but it takes a heck of a lot of effort to lift up my head from the tasks of daily life to pay attention and connect. (It is so difficult!) I am also endlessly pragmatic, so I sometimes struggle with practical applications. But I have found that yoga (I love Yoga With Adriene!) and meditation (Insight Timer App!) bring me closer to my best place of operating from - where I feel open, flexible, and receptive and not so caught up in my thoughts.
To sum up hours spent listening and reading: you are not your thoughts.
This episode of Super Soul podcast (also available as just audio through your favourite podcasting app) sums things up nicely if you're into this sort of thing. And if you're not and think I'm rambling like a tree-hugging hippie, no worries! I kind of am.
Speaking of magical, Mamawatters on Instagram has a family of doves nesting on a windowsill in her house, and she's documenting it in her Instagram stories.
I came across this channel on YouTube the other day, and their work is so, so great.
Happy June! I hope that it's a beautiful month wherever you are. And the June episode of my podcast is up! Enjoy!