Moments of Awareness

Moments of Awareness

My cousin B.C. and his wife are very special to me. He sent me something today unknowingly, that was perfectly tied in to what I had planned to share. The last few days, KBJ and I have spent some time outside, even in the up and down temps we have had of late. Last night we had a mix of sleet and snow, then rain, while today it is sunny and in the 60’s, and the miracle of  spring is all around us. We both felt almost compelled to capture some of these amazing events on a micro scale……photographing emerging flower buds, a swallowtail butterfly flying around us so early in the season, and in such cool temperatures. Then out of nowhere, a bluebird pair, male and female, landed and perched on a branch right outside the large kitchen window. An odd circumstance, as I haven’t seen one in many years, and also because I live among acres of dense woods, not at all bluebird habitat, which is usually open farmland, orchards, and rarely, open woodland. They really prefer open grassland with a scattering of trees. It sang and sang, and has remained on my property for several days now, appearing at the window 3 mornings in a row. We both sat at the kitchen table that first morning much longer than usual because it was such a rare occurance, it was incredibly beautiful, and we decided without speaking a word, to stay and watch and listen, and be grateful in that moment.

 

Mr. Bluebird right outside our kitchen window.

Mr. Bluebird right outside our kitchen window.

 

The same morning the bluebirds appeared, this Swallowtail butterfly rested on a chair on the deck just outside the kitchen.

The same morning the bluebirds appeared, this Swallowtail butterfly rested on a chair on the deck just outside the kitchen.

Blossoms on a purple plum in the side yard.

Blossoms on a purple plum in the side yard.

 

Rose leaves and swollen flower buds along the driveway.

Newly emerging leaves on a rose bush….up close and beautiful……

I have always had a tender heart, so I have been told, but for much of my life I raced through my days with intent and intensity, taking care of career, home, family  and more, and not always taking time to simply be in a moment, even when I really wanted to. I was aware I needed to, and I often did, but  not nearly enough. When my husband got suddenly ill, never having been sick in his life, he went from vital to dead in the span of just weeks, well ahead of normal life expectancy, leaving one half of a whole to learn how to be Mutt without Jeff. Early on I connected deeply to nature, we both did, but I was sometimes too singularly  focused and goal oriented, and in my own expectations for myself about doing it all correctly, perfectly, I sometimes missed something magical because I thought I “had to do something else”.  I had many magical moments, but I missed many I didn’t have to. My friends have described me as spring loaded, in a good way, packing an awful lot into a 24 hour day. His death changed me, and in so many unexpected ways, that a book is the only way I could possibly describe how many losses compressed into a short time can change you, especially when you laid next to someone you loved deeply while they were taking their last breath. As a former elite athlete, I was taught to be aware of breathing and how it can affect movement, performance and endurance, but now I look at breath in a different way. I can be still and quiet in a moment, actually listening to the exchange of air I breathe in and then out, simply because it reminds me of the mystery that air, invisible air, keeps us alive. I will often feel my pulse in my neck, continually amazed that a muscle called the heart, beats day in and day out, and it does so without a schedule or a manager,  yet I am often unaware of it’s cadence, and it is darn amazing. Our hearts, our brains, our muscles and bones are housed in the only home they will ever have, our body…… yet we humans are often unaware and unappreciative of the amazing connections to the web of life woven into our own body frames.

I am also amazed that I can write these words, or any words, press the publish button, and it all goes around the world in nanoseconds!!!  Nature, science, technology…..amazing stuff, and I appreciate it all and more.

Below is what my cousin. sent me this morning. Thanks Cous! Even if you don’t open these very often, I urge you to take a few minutes and watch this. It is a tenderizer for anyone’s heart. At the end, …… wisdom and wonder from both a child and an elderly man.

P.S. I LOVE  TED talks !!!!!!    Enjoy your weekend. charisse    and thanks KBJ for the above photos……

Comments

  1. Once again you have written something that touches my heart. I was the little girl that walked in the woods looking at flowers, trees, rocks always with a Sheltie at hand and a dear friend that explained nature as we walked each saturday.
    You have an amazing talent to say the right thing. We are blessed and should always be grateful from the bottom of our hearts for each and every day. Thank you,
    Ann

    • Thank you Ann. It really is a privilege to be able to write, and all the better if it touches someone. How fortunate you were to have someone to teach you about Nature, especially with a beloved dog by your side. charisse

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