We walk to the bus in early morning, little boy and I, and I expect shivers. It has been chilly lately. Instead, the air feels warm, though with a touch of crispness.
Little boy plays with the purple marble he found yesterday just outside the school on the way to the library. ‘I like how perfectly round it is, Mama, and that it has something inside. It cannot be just glass…’ I smile and lock the very scene in my memory. Marbles, little boy with long hair shading his eyes from morning sun, squinting and smiling, noises around and the awareness of living that moment as deep as one could. I can hear the morning.
We walk on the bus and I pull ‘The last of the Mohicans’, we have three more chapters to go. My voice reading the story is often sinking under the loud noise of the bus engine but little boy is paying close attention, his head close to mine. I see lilac bushes in people’s yards and I can almost smell them.
We read, approaching the last chapter… The end comes all too soon and unexpected. I read the last words, close the book and look out the window. There is a path that leads to a place I have to go see yet… A wild place in the middle of the city. I peek at little boy and his serious face. We are both silent.
‘That’s a sad ending, Mama.’
Yes it is. I tell him how movies nowadays have a happy ending but that is not an accurate description of life. Life has pockets of happiness, it has pockets of sadness, it has so much that happy ending is almost forgotten in the process of assessing the richness of it all, of every moment that passes by.
We part ways and I walk home, passing by lilac bushes that smell heavenly, and listening to birds. On my left, a flower bed brims with with yellow and white petals suspended in sunny air. Birds and flowers, the whoosh of the city behind, thoughts of today. Mindfulness. Am I there? To think that I am forever prisoner to the moment would be belittling the experience. Instead, I think of my mindfulness as the pact I made with life a long time ago. To make it all worth it, every moment of it. If I do so, my thoughts of tomorrow, my actions, my words to my sons and my husband, to my friends, they all come from a place I can call my own. The only one I know. My life, the moments that build the path I am on.
I pass by lilacs and thoughts of gratefulness surface. I bring forth thoughts of childhood and so many things I can remember about lilacs. They guarded the steps from the house to the street, draping heavy with rain and sun, seeding today’s thoughts. I was there then, I am here now. A child then, now I have my own. I think of them as I walk uphill. My sons. What will make them grateful along the way? I have to teach them the way. It’s the path I build as I go, learning as I go. From lilac smells that remind me of who I am. Mindfulness.
I stoop over a perfect little sun: a dandelion. I like to eat fresh dandelion leaves in spring, I love the yellow umbrellas and will never understand why people call them weeds. At natural food stores you can buy dandelion tea, leaf or root. They are good liver cleansers. helping with detox, the word that buzzes around me nowadays. There is no magic solution. It starts with rethinking dandelions… Mindfulness, reason to never be idle in thought and reasoning.
I continue my speedy walk up the hill on the portion I loathe. It’s dusty and noisy from vehicles too big and engines that roar too loudly. If you drive, you drown the noise in music or news. If you walk like I do nowadays, the sounds are deafening. There is a lilac bush in bloom and I feel sorry for it. The air it draws its life from is dusty and dirty. Its air is mine too. If I walk, I see it. There are wrappers under bushes and the word ‘energy’ from one glares at me. No one wins.
I will soon walk up the last portion of my morning walk. It is quiet here and the city is behind me. I like belonging to a world that challenges me. There is so much to know about belonging in a world that does not comes with rules but with responsibilities. I am not alone. It is quiet and the air is hot, though it is not even 10 am. Too hot. I think of what ails me, a world that we toast on both sides with incessant wants. We’ve learned to forget, to overlook, to conform. I want to remember, to mind, to speak up, if such is needed. It is, as we raise our children.
How do I think of mindfulness? I think of it as an ability to see details, to be where I am, to know the consequences of my actions on the world around, be it people, my garden, my writing.
If I am mindful, I stand for the truth and I face myself in hope to grow, to understand my world, to live in it, to never just brush and wonder whose life I am living after all.
The day unfolds hot and windy. The radish plants are tiny but bold and today I planted peas too. The boys play, squabble, I munch of thoughts of what is life about anyway and I think to myself that if I keep being in the moment the answer will come. Persistence pays.
I am here, seeing the sunset. Truck drive loud and speedy on the road nearby and I resent the noise. Because I want to hear the sunset. For a second, I quit the moment I am in to immerse myself in one where I’d stand to see the sunset that can he heard too.
Then I am back. I am here now. Mindfulness. Today I got to know more.