February 1, 2023
Sitting outside on a cool early morning, there were feelings that might be labeled sadness. I love summer! All around were signs that the season was coming to an end. Then I noticed a bright yellow goldfinch and a sunflower past prime. The little bird’s wings were flapping, suspending it in air, while it diligently, and I project happily, feasted on seeds. Instantly any grey cloud of emotion lifted; experience was pure delight.
I turned on the recorder and started to talk about this feeling of aliveness. There was so much to say! Details about my flying friend, the vibrancy of early morning light, cool breeze and warmth of sun on skin, song of sandhill cranes migrating above, beauty of late-blooming flowers tucked under those full of seed. What a fun surprise to see what was “hidden in plain sight”!
Feasting on delights of fall has remained a focus since encountering the little yellow bird. Each morning I sit quietly with recorder in hand and notice what is capturing attention. After making the recording, I listen back, paying particular attention to the lens from which I am noticing.
For example, one morning, listening back to a narrative on cobwebs and dirty windows, I could feel the lack of Joy in the seeing. Was there something wrong with spiders and dirt? No! How did I want to be with them? A simple answer dropped in: “present and curious!” Just then, I walked over to the cobwebs, hit record, and talked about the exquisite intricacy of the web and details of my six-legged friend. Then, after gently moving the little creature outside, I walked over to the cleaning cabinet. Opening the door, I could see the window-washing supplies tucked back in a corner, items not used since this time last year. Then a memory dropped in of participating in the Africa Fundraiser workshop last year. We had a session of working meditation where we got to choose not only the task but also how we wanted to be with it. Remembering how much enjoyment was received from the process, I hit record and talked about why I wanted clean windows and how I wanted to be in the process—joyful!
Looking at my calendar, I see there are a few hours available this afternoon. It so happens to be when the fall light will be shining bright, a perfect time to clean. It’s a date! Can already feel the Joy!