[Note: This is one of those April posts that never made it to the laptop. Also, this might become a Tao of Me post soon, we'll see.]
I went outside today. Got up early and walked the cat as I’d promised him I would. Poor little dear was waiting at the door for hours, meowing and meowing. He knows it’s warm enough and he knows where his harness is. To prove the point he gets up and starts dragging it around as if to say “Mommy, the snow’s melting, come on. Hurry up before the outside goes away!” He’s such a sweetheart.
I get the harness on him (it’s the only moment he stands perfectly still and quiet so I can get the darn thing snapped up before he’s off again meowing and pacing in front of the door). Together we walk outside into the sunlight.
He runs but I keep the leash short. There are large birds, strange dogs, and cats, all kinds of creatures that have been known to wander around our yard and I’m as watchful as any good mother tries to be. Together we go down the drive into the big sloping lawn below. He’s happy so I give him nearly all of his leash to roam on after double checking the skies.
It’s warm enough so I take my coat off, a rare occurrence even on a hot day as I like to be wrapped in layers but I think today my sweater and my shirt will suffice. After the paranoia of strange dogs wears off and I’m comfortable I can feel the tug of the leash should my kitten child need me I turn on my mp3 player and close my eyes.
I breath in. And I breath out. And then I try to just ‘be’. Believe me when I say that takes more practice than one might surmise.
I sat cross legged on my coat. Occasionally opening one eye or another to watch my child or make sure he hasn’t decided to unclasp his harness (he does it more often than I care to admit). After awhile of this I decided I was just too distracted. I kept watching my child or wanting to fiddle with my music or listen to it when in all reality that’s not what I really needed to be listening to. Nonetheless, I kept trying to clear my mind until I remembered one of the greater lesser principals of Taoism ;) . Don’t try. Do or do not. There is no try.
So, instead of ‘trying’ to meditate like I wanted to- I let my thoughts consume me. I told myself ‘okay, let’s get it out of my system now so I can do what I need to later.’ To say the least it’s been a big week for me so I spent twenty minutes watching my child and listening to some good music, Enya, closing my eyes now and then only to have to open them again when Kitten brought me a bug or, goodness gracious, starts growling.
I feel so loved by my cat. He was growling because there was a jogger passing by and he wanted to protect me. He stood in front of me as if poised to attack and waited for a full five minutes after the lady was long past but it helped none the less to spur my enjoyment of the evening.
After my twenty minutes, when I felt the cat child was sufficiently warn out, covered with grass, and had eaten his fill of bugs I left my stuff on the ground and walked him inside. I didn’t rush him today as I might have on others. I don’t think my conscious could handle meditation if I just ran dumped him inside to enjoy the good day on my own just because I didn’t want to worry about him. It seems selfish. Perhaps it is.
After I released him from his harness I walked back down the drive and sat on my coat, headphones already over my ears- that’s when I heard it. Wind chimes on our house and my soon to be mom in laws next door. Birds chirping in the trees with squirrels chattering not far off. Yeah, I live by the highway and I heard cars too but I could so easily pretend they were the sounds of the ocean. I took off my headphones and listened for a bit, closing my eyes and letting all the sensations wash over me.
Though I could ‘just be’ and ‘just was’ for about ten minutes I didn’t feel quite connected enough. I felt the sunshine on the legs of my pants, the wind at my back, but no earth beneath my toes. The problem was quickly rectified and I closed my eyes again. I could feel the earth mother. Her steady presence as equal to my own heart beat. I sat in silence with her. My palms covered in dirt and grains and grass.
Though warmed gently by the sunshine which made me want to dance and laugh, and the wind which made me want to float away she, my mother, was cool to the touch. Her presence grounding me as I told her all the things that had happened to me since the last time we spoke. I reminded her I was getting married and asked her to keep the grass green. I told her of my love, my life, my writing, and how I’d missed her so. I thought of those who look up to me for advice and that I should tell them of this grand experience, visiting my mother, and how it could help them. I thought about the spiritual road I was on and a couple though not all (never all) the different ways I could have looked at it.
I held mother earth and father sky close to my skin. Letting them wrap their arms about me. I thought of my beliefs. How I see the same energy (spirit) in all things and yet marvel at the separate beings it takes shape as and how different people see it differently as well.
Some never take the time to look upon the mother earth. Some walk in harmony with her. Others call her mother as I do. A rare few truly look at her as the one who raised them. At the same time, I call the moon my mother. I see the great lady goddess in her craters and shining face, the symbol of the ultimate yin. I see her as the mother who watches me from afar and beseech her for advice when I can commune with no one else. I look upon my paths, fate, winding and twisting from one branch to another like the roots of a never ending tree. I call her fate though these are actually choices I have made and consequences there of. She chooses what lessons are placed in front of me and though I seldom call her mother I see her as a part of the universe. Coincidence, happenstance, luck be it good or bad. The paths that are placed in front of me, lady fate, is my teacher just like the earth and the moon. The presence I feel late into the night and early into the morning. My own heart beating in my chest and the spirit energy that surrounds me in all things. This is the universe, and she too it my mother for it was her, the silence, that raised me long before the others though they have always been. I call her mother as well.
My mother is my father, my brother, my sister, my friend, and my teacher. Starlight, sunlight, moonlight. Tree, leaf, and blade of grass. Choices and paths, all things that happen. Everything and nothing, being and not being. Action and no action, doing and not doing. The energy that is in everything.
And then I open my eyes and the darkness behind my lids is shattered by the ever bright sunlight caressing my face. Everything is beautiful but still my foot has fallen asleep. Reluctantly I change my position and thank my earth mother. Today she has taught me nothing but she has reminded me of everything. Why this is important some may never know but to know my mother is with me solid beneath my feet and that I am never alone. That I too can feel connected when all else around me fails- it is more than you can imagine.