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What do peeling hardboiled eggs, a two-hour long run,
nature mandalas have in common?
I did all of them today.
distinct moments to be savored.
I’m sort of on this zen kick of trying to be more mindful
and present. I’ve never been much of a
multi-tasker, and I get pretty freaked out when I have too much on my
plate. I like to take things slow and
easy. I don’t like a lot of surprises or
unforeseen events. I don’t like change
in general, and I like to have plenty of quiet time to placate my introverted
tendencies. I’m also a bit of a
homebody, and one of the biggest adjustments this fall has been the amount of
time I am not at home. I’ve become
miserly with my time on the weekends as a result. I know what’s most important—my family and my
home—so when I can be at home, I am at home.
But I still get sucked up in the “to do” lists and the
multitude of chores that have piled up during the week. And there is a little part of me that starts
lamenting on Saturday afternoon that I “only have one day left” of doing what I
want when I want to do it– playing with goats, digging in the garden,
painting, writing confessional blog posts, taking a fat nap. It’s beyond ridiculous. Believe me, I know. I understand how bizarre and
wasteful some of the thoughts that cross my mind can be; I just can’t make them
…I focus on the moment.
…I stop worrying about Sunday morning
or Sunday night or Monday morning.
…I slow down and enjoy the NOW.
Doing one thing at a time, just the way I like it, is a key
to finding the now.
This morning, I
peeled hardboiled eggs with Isaac for the covered dish at church. We mixed and mashed egg yolk with mustard and
mayonnaise and slowly scooped it back into the hollow egg halves, one scoop at
a time. I even thought—I’m not
kidding—about who might pick up one of our delicious little deviled eggs at lunch and how we
were making it special just for them. It
wasn’t just another thing to check off my list, as it often is; instead, it was
something special, something for someone else.
Isaac spilled paprika, and we ruined at least two of the eggs
completely, but it didn’t matter. It was
nice, just the two of us peeling eggs as the morning light filtered in through
the back door and a bird sang.
In the afternoon, I went to a favorite trail, and despite
the thick crowds of people, I managed to find the path least traveled. For two hours, I listened to my feet shuffle
through newly fallen brown leaves and my breathing as I climbed the steep hills
and ran harder on the way back down. I
skipped over wet creek rocks and heard a deer crashing through the
underbrush. I saw dozens of white shafts
of light break through the clouds above dark blue mountains and stood atop a
bare rock face to watch a bird be carried on the wind.
I drove home in silence.
I did not listen to classic rock or NPR.
Only the wind whipping the cloth top of the Jeep.
I came home and helped gather fallen rose petals and
magnolia leaves and skinny twigs. I
watched the goats as they tried to eat my begonia and laughed to see them run
and buck in the grass. I crouched down
in the sandbox and laid out a pattern around a curled up wooly worm. I listened to Harper Lee and Isaac chat about
the inner lives of wooly worms and big, hairy spiders, which is apparently very deep. We could feel the passing of summer into fall
on our bare feet and our faces turned toward the setting sun.
And that, as Mr. Frost said, “has made all the