I move way too fast. Constantly.
I hear an exasperated sigh…and realize it is mine. I clench my teeth, or tighten my belly…hold my shoulders tense and rigid, mumble four-letter words under my breath. I rush. I drop. I spill. I forget why I walked into a room. And ultimately, become annoyed with myself.
I am in a perpetual state of movement….self-imposed. There is always someone to see, something to organize, something to clean, an event to attend, a call to make, an errand to run…..always something.
Can you relate?
I rarely slow down. But, occasionally, I purposefully focus on changing my busy-ness. I have success for a while, perhaps a month or two, but am lulled unknowingly into moving again at a rapid pace.
But this week….I got back on track.
I slowed down. On a lake. With family. And with friends.
I woke every morning but one, around 5:00 am to witness the sun rise. The daily, magical gift of first-light did not disappoint.
Before the sun made its debut, the lake water was at rest, serene, smooth as a pane of glass, still as a potted plant, seemingly frozen, undisturbed. The calming, soundless moments were pleasurably interrupted most mornings by loons….the woeful cry to one another from opposite ends of Great Pond, their trill and human-like yodel, added an interesting, albeit eerie, aspect to the daybreak.
The minutes prior to sunrise were magical and surreal.
I entered an other-worldly dimension, noting a light fog coating the perimeter of the lake, snaking its way through pines and oaks, dividing the base from the tops of trees in a ghostly, smoke-like swath of moisture. Mystical color, lightly pastel in shades of bronze, orange and yellow, or violet, pink and blue hues…became vivid…intensifying as dawn approached and the portal opened.
Suddenly….the tip of a brilliant orange orb appeared like a liquid mass, peeked above the trees lining the shore, hastily inching its way upward, becoming a perfect sphere. A ray of light, radiating from a flaming globe, stretched slowly across the surface of the water, as tho waking from a deep sleep. The lake began to yawn, trees whispered with the slightest hint of breeze, and nature began to stir. Schools of small baitfish frantically leaped out of the water like tiny frogs; several clusters of gray-brown ducks swam by our dock, their webbed feet paddling quickly, just barely visible beneath the water’s surface, dipping their beaks gently into the lake, sipping the morning’s coolness. An osprey, peeping enthusiastically, flapped its wings urgently, then swiftly dove into the gently moving waters, emerging with a breakfast of fresh fish. An eagle soared overhead. The loons continued to communicate in soft, short calls. Dragonflies, some electric-blue in color or with translucent, veined wings, landed softly on my forearm and shoulder. As the sun rose higher into the sky, the lake rippled with a pleasing, rhythmic sound, and in gentle splashes, greeted the rocks lining the shore.
Such a treat….a symphony of delectable “good mornings.”
So many delights to harvest when I slow down to savor the moment.
I slowed my pace even further. Every day at dawn, I meditated, for twenty minutes….eyes closed, sun warming my face, puffs of morning air glancing my cheeks, the sounds of wakefulness surrounding me.
I walked in the woods, reminded gleefully of the country surroundings of my childhood.
I finished reading a book and started another. I journaled.
And…I stayed in the moment.
I practiced balance…time alone…time with others. Always present.
My son, Jeremy and his fiance’, Danielle, flew to join us from their new home in West Palm Beach. John, our oldest, drove up from Boston. We started the week in Camden excitedly checking out the venues and planning next year’s wedding.
The five of us were joined at the lake house during the week by friends of decades, some of just a few years, as young as 30, some in their 40’s…and others our age. We went out to local restaurants for dinner, swam in the lake, sat by the campfire, made s’mores…and had a pot-luck supper, celebrating two birthdays with two cakes!
Conversations were filled with laughter or occasional low-toned seriousness as we caught up on each other’s lives.
The atmosphere a constant one of playfulness and connection.
Throughout the week, I remained relaxed, engaged, aware and able to consciously breathe in the gratefulness.
Back home, although situated in the epicenter of the city of Portland…my plan is to remain centered….to meditate as often as I can, continue to make reading a priority, note when I am clenching, tightening and over-doing…. and of course….plan a return to my lakefront sanctuary.
Anyone want to join me?