On a beautiful first day of July, I was taking out the compost. I noticed a bunny standing in my path. He startled me. I paused and I realized that during the last couple weeks, I’ve been lost in the busyness as a result of the world’s reopening. New York is slowly re-opening in phases, but at the same time it feels like it’s all happening so fast.
It was a sudden shift. One minute we were quarantined, then all of a sudden life was busy again, as high energy summer arrived. Virtual school was out, hot summer weather was here, visits with family and friends resumed as they came back to town, stores reopened, and restaurants opened for outdoor dining. It all feels familiar, yet donning my mask reminds of the previous months of quiet pandemic life. The spring lockdown was eerie, inconvenient, and unsettling, not to mention devastating for so many. In other ways, all the down time with my family and the wonderful opportunity for reflection, was a gift. Being someone who is very sensitive to change, it was strange getting used to the pause only to revert back again. It reminds me of the well known quote from the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, ‘change is the only constant in life’.
I stood watching that bunny for a long time. Eventually, I sat as I got lost in the moment. I watched him eat and I watched his sides move in and out as he breathed. He noticed me and I smiled at him. I gave him a discarded piece of the bib lettuce that was in my compost bin. As I continued to watch him, I was in awe of his primal life, which merely consisted of breathing, eating, sleeping, and avoiding predators. As a person who regularly deals with excess mind chatter, I was jealous that he did not have that human fault. I suppose depending on how you look at it our thoughts can be considered an evolutionary prize, as well as a burden. The last couple weeks have been so busy I haven’t even thought about writing a post. Once or twice I wondered when the next inspiration would present itself, but then was lost again as I got carried away with life. Then, seeing this bunny I recalled the stillness of quarantined life that I enjoyed, yet seemed so far away.
The kids were playing upstairs nicely, which allowed me to be with my bunny thoughts. I recall long days at home during the quarantine. Initially, the pause from school and our lives was a difficult adjustment, but eventually we found our way within it. Just as we were getting into rhythms of homeschooling, bread baking, biking through the empty streets and endless walks, life resumed. It goes without saying, I am happy my husband can wear regular clothes to work versus scrubs, as the hospital shifts back from the very heavy spike that hit them hard. Putting it all together, this leads me to the challenge of finding a way for the pause and busy life to somehow coexist. How can I be mindful, still and present in the midst of the chaos?
We slowly began making summer plans, as little by little the town and local organizations offer children programming. They fill up quickly, as there are fewer spots due to social distancing. I then find myself remedying a minor emergency of trying to find a bike for my daughters birthday, only to realize there is a national bike shortage. This complicated matters further, then top it off with July 4th plans of my daughter’s birthday party and fireworks. There is also fall schooling plans. CDC recommendations on how to reopen schools safely dominate the headlines, there is so much to consider. The calendar is hardly filled as it has been in previous years, yet the pace is picking up fast and it feels overwhelming.
As I exit my thoughts and connect back to the moment, of watching the bunny eating clover flowers I am grateful. Grateful that I made this departure from head to my heart and connected to the present moment. Present moment guru, Ekhart Tolle, so eloquently states, “the joy of being is the joy of being conscious”. As I bask in the joy and bliss of the present moment, as well as the majestic forces of nature present in my backyard, I beg the feeling to stay. Then I acknowledge gratitude for the next chapter in all this. This event encourages my faith in the miracles that I pray for every day to come to fruition. Eventually, my children joined me in my bunny watching episode. We sat longer watching, then took pictures. I was glad to share this moment of stillness with my children and looking into their eyes secures my knowling that miracles are possible and present all around us.
Wishing you all moments of joyful stillness as life gets busier again. Be safe dear ones and keep praying for miracles.