Honestly, on days like today, I am avoiding all of it.
All of it looks like the pot of lentils that boiled over, and then the water evaporated, leaving an acrid reminder that writing is more important than multi-tasking the mundane.
On days like today, I bike away to the edge of the city, looking for a breath of quietness.
I bicycle past the fields, soft brown soil is tilled and prepped for planting. I feel guilty about the frigid weather in the East, as if I shouldn’t be happy for being here (but I am), bicycling away from all of it.
On days like today, the sun is brilliant against the blue, I stop at the edge of a field, throw down my bike and lean against a Valley Oak. With the crook of my elbow over my closed eyes, I “see” the golden blur that is obscuring the all of it that I try to ignore.
I remember as a little girl swinging with my eyes closed in the afternoon sun.
A zig zag of pinks and greens flowed behind my closed eyes. The image twisted and turned as I swung faster and higher, but slowed to stillness as I stopped swinging, and opened my eyes.
I didn’t contemplate the perspective of my inner vision from the height of a moving object, as I was simply playing.
Now—as a grownup—perspective becomes something that we all want. It is tricky at times, causing confusion, yet ultimately it is in the eye of the beholder, as we all know.
Once upon a time, an old friend told me that what we see in another is what we want to get back.
Actually, now that I think about your words, I heard them wrong, as the wind gusted that day.
Looking back, you told me, what we most need is what we give out to the world.
Words of advice taken with the grains of sand beneath my toes.
I saw a reflection of myself in you, my friend—calm, gracious, respectful, light-hearted and determined to rise up from challenges. I saw a common thread in your awareness for the details—like the way you told me that if we took the path around the rocks that with the rising tide we’d be trapped on that beach, so we turned back.
Always thinking three steps ahead—yes, a reflection of myself.
And, the tide has risen, and fallen, and risen again—I am not on the beach. I cannot sink my toes in the salty water, watching the light shift after the sun drops below the horizon line. I am not trapped by the high tide, yet I am.
Instead, I sit under this Valley Oak in the too golden grasses for January, avoiding all of it, if only for a moment.
In middle of all of it, I return to the awareness of details, which is a blessing for a writer or an artist, but sometimes not helpful in the ordinary ways. Yet is it not the awareness of the little things that make us better at finding sense in our paths, and those who zig-zag through our journey?
We see how to be compassionate with another, and in the compassion—we learn what causes our frustration or builds up our love. We learn to say, I’m sorry, for being so tough when really we are so soft.
It’s in the details that hearts get found, and lost, and then found again.
Like I said, perspective seems to be something that we all want; it creates resolution for our confusion.
But, here’s the tricky part about perspective, sometimes it can only be like the zig zags of light that come when we swing with our eyes closed on a sunny day.
We can only simply be in the moment, taking a break from the all of it, before we step back onto our journey: finding the awareness with details of the mundane like the pungent smell of burnt lentils.
There are two more stories on How to Be an Open-hearted Warrior:
Want 15 free additional reads weekly, just our best?
Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo Credit: Jim Work/Pixoto