It was a few weeks ago now that I sat on the front porch of a friends home with the sun in my face and a book on my knees. I was sitting with Bo, a bowl of orange segments balanced between her knees. I was reading, feeling the warm burn of the summer sun against my bare feet. There was little breeze… just hot summer air pulled over us like a winter sweater, prickling our skin. I had read a whole chapter before I realised that I hadn’t been interrupted at all.
I was lost in the world of a story, worlds away from my own, escaping in the fantasy of another life.
When I looked up, I saw something rather curious. I saw my little girl, head cocked to one side, staring off into the garden. Focussed, but not focussed at all. I watched her and I realised quite simply how complicated we make things. It was a moment or two before my staring got her attention. She looked over at me and grinned and laughed and shoved another orange wedge into her cheesey grin. I asked her, ‘what were you thinking,’ she just shrugged, ‘nothing,’ she said. So I asked, ‘what were you watching,’ and she looked at me like I was crazy, ‘everything,’ she said, ‘everything.’
The thing about mindfulness and meditation is as an adult we are trying to undo all the mess and bullshit and self doubt that life has crammed into our heads. When I meditate I drive myself crazy with self doubt and inner monologues and convoluted arguments about who-knows-what. But the thing is, it still helps. Afterwards, I always feel better. Calmer. Clearer. It always helps. To take the time. To just sit. To be everything and nothing all at once. To take the time to notice that amongst all the mess and the tears, there are not only beautiful things outside of us, but there are little beautiful things inside us too… even if we feel broken. Even if we feel vulnerable. Even when we are scared. Even when we feel like we are cracked right down the middle.
I’ve got a serious case of writing block at the moment. I have so many words but none of them seem to be able to make it to the page. So instead of write, I just live the moments. The good and the bad. The joyful and the sad. I’m just in them.
To take a moment to remember what really matters. In a sea of so much noise and things that we are told matter (that really don’t, at all), there are a few things that truly do. Like love. Like peace. Like making change. Little moments of kindness and learning to just let the rest go. I’ll be taking a few lessons from my toddler again this week… and I’ll try a little harder to forget about getting it perfect, I’ll do what I can with what I have, and I’ll find a little joy in it… Because if we can’t do that… What are we doing at all?
Ring the bells that can still ring,
Forget your perfect offering,
There is a crack in everything,
That’s how the light gets in.