This morning, I stopped along a narrow trail, enveloped by the sweet scents of honeysuckle and spicebush. Memories of last night’s rain skipped from leaf to leaf, while damselflies danced and a lone catbird sang. From branches sixty feet above, pollen drifted down like snow, illuminated in the first light of day. Oh the bees, their sunrise fête in blooming vines, and mine — oh mine — below.
The storm took so much it’s difficult to consider — gone the familiar, the known path. Feet so sure there was no need to gauge progress. It was how I became present again, how I stepped back in the moment.
It was where I could breathe, let go, release my rooted stride. Slough off thoughts. Embrace the solitude with just a heartbeat and birdsong for company.
But her wide canopy of solace is gone now, and I have been hobbled.
Those sacred spaces of breath and respite are changed.
And so am I.
So I take a different path this morning and it comforts me.
This rabbit will caretake the old path.
This turtle, hopeful, lays its eggs. As does the robin.
Part of this snake is here but its heart has moved forward,
and this spider writes her poems in the spaces left behind.
Essay ©2021, Jen Payne. If you like this essay, be sure to purchase a copy of my book LOOK UP! Musings on the Nature of Mindfulness, available here.
We are all waiting.