I’m sitting in the sun with my cat Wednesday nestled in my lap purring softly into my elbow. She likes to sit with me when I write and I spend more time than I should be trying to balance the keyboard on my knees as I type so as not to disturb our shared reverie.
Wednesday has taught me to place pleasure over purpose.
Winter has arrived in full force here in the northeast with single-digit temperatures and cold winds that take the breath with it. Yesterday morning, as I braced against the bluster while feeding the birds, I dreamt of going someplace warm. I imagined supple, hydrated skin, dining outdoors, and swimming in the sea for more than a minute. But my daydream was halted the moment I remembered the pandemic and the hassle of traveling – long security lines, packed planes, and ever-changing testing requirements.
Oh, how the mind can ruin a good fantasy.
The moment I realized the irritation now coursing through my body was the result of a shift in my thinking, I regained perspective. Could we travel? Of course. Did I want to right now? Not really. But this wasn’t the real issue. What mattered more was the fact that I caught my mind changing my mood.
I returned my attention to filling the feeder and when I looked up, I noticed a male cardinal sitting on a nearby branch, his fiery red fan-of-a-hat perched proudly on his head. Well, hello there, I said as we stared at each other. I suspect he was waiting for me to leave so he could grab a bite to eat.
How many times a day do we aggravate ourselves with our minds, I thought to myself. Ten? Fifty? A thousand? Ten thousand?
And what do we miss when we do?
Life, magic, the unfolding of something beautiful right before our eyes. A bright red cardinal against the gray of winter is not only a sight to behold, but a reminder to stay awake, to remain allegiant to the practice of presence.
That’s the focus for this week’s Zoom gathering on Wednesday afternoon at 4pm ET/1pm PT and I hope to see you there.