Things calmed down again in my head. There are many things I could credit, like the sharp splash of color from fall leaves or the sweet, smokey smell of fallen ones burning. Or the Halloween candy, like oversized, neatly wrapped prozac in a day-glo pumpkin. (Though I would like to add I have been better than last year, for sure.)
The return of zen is most likely from the passage of time, though a book a friend recommended helped guide me to stay in the moment in a way that never clicked before. We are ready when we’re ready, I guess.
I am a natural worrier, not to be confused with warrior. A warrior wouldn’t worry, would she? So I am trying to practice letting go of everything I can’t do something about in the moment it pops into my head along with a this is unacceptable. It doesn’t always work, but when it does it brings sweet sweet peace.
The thing I most enjoy about being present – and mind you, it still feels tentative and like I could simply forget to do it – is how the stillness in the moment somehow makes everything else brighter or sharper. Last weekend we walked through an art museum and I took this picture of some trees and it was the only one I took other than a painting of a renaissance man blowing a bubble through his pipe (because, duh), and later realized what was so appealing about it.
When I was a kid, I used to get really excited just before a storm hit. I was the little weirdo standing in the middle of our backyard so I could hear the rustle and see the pale underside of leaves up close. The storm never lasted very long and its destruction was never certain, but the preshow with its fully charged electrons or ions or other sciencey terms was as close to drugs as a 5 year old could get.
Now, much older and wiser and terribly afraid of electrocution, I prefer to see the pale underbellies of leaves from inside or, better yet, in paintings with the family. I see trees that get shaken and whipped around and maybe lose branches, but they survive. They weather the storm even when it seems they can’t.
At the art museum gift shop, I treated myself to some colored pencils and the same day had a deep discussion with my 5 year-old under a massive canopy of oaks about why acorns get separated from their tops. We decided that acorn tops are really bike helmets for squirrels, and nevermind that the scale is all wrong or why are squirrels just dropping helmets willy nilly all over the place (because they’re squirrels!).
The fella below rides a bike made of twigs. I’m not sure about the goggles but think he bought them on a tiny version of amazon, which I would totally shop at and I am not even a squirrel.