I focus on the simple things these days. I’m looking for balance, so for me that means focusing on the foundation. I remind myself to sit, to breathe, to walk, to think. I can be very good at being present when I allow it.
My son is asleep upstairs. I sit down stairs at a table in our living room. There’s a squirrel sun bathing on the top post of our back fence. I watch him from my seat by our back window. He’s completely stretched out. Front paws near his face, back paws far behind. He’s under a tree that’s dying so the shade it gives off is slight. Around him all other plants our blooming. Trees bud in bright green behind our house and along the trail that runs down the hill to the forest behind. I notice the corner of a cheery tree blooming in our neighbor’s yard and a rose starting to bloom in our own untended garden. The squirrel lays eyes closed. Maybe he’s taking advantage of the beautiful Spring as I have often done, assumed the endlessness of a beautiful day. Or maybe he lays contemplating it. His fur looks soft. Warm from the sun I imagine.When I open the windows to get a feel for Spring, I do so slowly so as to not disturb him. Eventually a passing plane, running child, or the warm sun sends him packing.
I find this world loud and when I go for too long without tending to my foundation I get off balance.
Children are great for forcing us to be present. My son’s newest thing is to grab me by the finger as I have done to him when I taught him how to help me push the microwave buttons. Once he has my finger and he’ll take me over to a pile of rocks and put my hand on them reminding me to feel the texture, the heat or coolness. He’ll experiment with a new route on our daily routine, a different way around the playground or an extra step sitting on the stoop and instructing me to stop for a sip of cup before going through our front door.
With these simple observations I’m starting to rebuild my foundation and it’s often my son’s hand on mine guiding my direction back to enjoying the beauty and quieting the noise.
Life is beautiful when you stop and focus on the little things: a blooming flower, a good cup of tea, the feel of the sun on your face, a cool breeze that flutters your curtains. I find the concrete nature comforting. It teases surety, gives an illusion of security, allows us to feel rooted in the present. But the knowledge that something is beautiful is to know that something is unusual, unlasting, a moment in time. The day after sunbathing vicariously through the squirrel, heavy cold rains came.
The day after that I notice the well-meaning HOA tree committee removed my dying tree, reminding me that even the view to my own property is not mine to manage. So glad I looked, so glad we sunbathed in the quiet cool hope of the Spring sun.