I have just finished teaching my five-week course on the mindfulness trainings. Showing up for the sangha, the community of kindred spirits who were taking my class, as they showed up for me, was deeply rooting and grounding. Especially because it carried me through the month of March which always feels like a difficult (and long!) month for me. I felt nourished and grateful! I love teaching mindfulness – it helps me stay committed to my practice in an intentional way.
It has also been lovely this month of April to have a pause from teaching, to allow my practice to unfold more organically and take in the wisdom coming from many directions. Spending a few days in Washington, DC for spring break with my family was a welcome change. And as I return home, getting ready to go back to teaching next week (I am high school teacher), I feel energized and uplifted. And a sense of joy!
The joy is coming through from the constant stream of bird visitors we have had to our home – bright yellow goldfinches, pinkish red house finches, gray-black juncos, bright red cardinal, downy woodpecker, blue-gray nuthatch (I had to look this one up!) – it has been constant – and is bringing us much delight! I have been going out late evenings to hear the frogs and toads in the nearby swamp (thanks to a beaver family that transformed that eco-system!) and there has been such a raucous! One late afternoon last week, on my usual walk in the neighborhood, I caught sight of a beautifully gorgeous turkey vulture about 30 feet from me, taking flight and landing on a nearby tree. I saw the same (or different?) vulture at the exact same spot the next day while walking with my daughter – and we decided to name this special bird Majesty. Seeing Majesty made me literally stop in my tracks and stand in awe. That’s what nature does to us – opens us up to wonder and mystery.
I am fortunate to live in a beautiful landscape and the coming of spring, much anticipated by us, seems to be here. And while holding the realities of climate change and the terrible tragedies around the world that are coming from our ignoring the signs – the certainty that something is wrong if we go from winter to summer in a week – I am also holding this. This deep joy and gratitude for the life that surrounds me, right now. This moment. The daffodils starting to bloom and the day-lilies pushing themselves out of the ground. And I am remembering Mary Oliver’s words from Straight talk by Fox.
I see you in all your seasons
making love, arguing, talking about God
as if he were an idea instead of the grass,
instead of the stars, the rabbit caught
in one good teeth-whacking hit and brought
home to the den. What I am, and I know it, is
responsible, joyful, thankful. I would not
give my life for a thousand of yours.Mary oliver
Please do check back for my next offering, which will be an intro to mindfulness course for the BIPOC community here in the Upper Valley and elsewhere in the world – the nice part of offering it online is that the world is suddenly a smaller place! And BIPOC or not, you are welcome to listen to the recordings of my guided meditations from my recent course, posted under the Guided Meditations tab.
Be well, take care and may spring be in your every step!