For a while now, I’ve been getting up early, without an alarm, between 5:30 and 6:00. If it’s a weekday, sometimes it’s with the hubster. On weekends, I smell his cheek (mmm…), give him a kiss, and rise on my own. I get dressed, feed the cats and the birds, grab a bottle of kombucha (eight ounces a day, my elixir of life?), and a thoughtful book. Lately it’s been the Pema Chodron, Start Where You Are, I found at the library (I bought my own copy). I sit on the bench on the back porch, wrapped up in a scarf and blanket and one cat or another on my lap.
First, I sip my kombucha slowly, listening and watching all that is happening. At this hour, it is pretty quiet. The birds chirp and eat (see the crow?), a few cars pass, but not too many. Though I like being out when it is sunny, so I don’t feel so cold, the rain is nice, too. It falls so sweetly onto the metal roof over my head.
Once I’ve finished the kombucha, I read, but just a little bit. I don’t want to crowd my mind with too many ideas. It’s a busy place already. Then I sit and think about what I’ve read. Today, it was, “Rest in the nature of alaya, the essence.” Watch whatever comes up in the mind, the rising and falling of thoughts. There’s no need to despair about the quality or content. They’re just thoughts. “No big deal,” Pema says.
I like the freedom this gives me. Permission. I have very dark thoughts sometimes. Heavy. Unkind. Cruel. They’re no big deal when I give them the space to be thoughts. They lose their potency and dissipate, though not always. Some are more stubborn and sticky, preferring to linger longer, but I’m finding more lightness around them, too. Maybe it’s just being outside in a place that I love, that I’ve worked hard to create. I’ve chosen every piece of furniture, every ornament, every plant with care. I’ve cleaned, weeded, cut, and fed everything here. I feel safe, safe to let my thoughts rise and fall like the plants themselves: sprouts, leaves, flowers, and seed, before starting over again.
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