Yesterday, I finished up at work and then Tom and I went out to a late lunch. We like to do that on Saturdays whenever possible because it’s the end of our work week officially and sets the tone for unwinding a bit. It was lovely and romantic and delicious and yes, there was wine. When we got home I changed into my ugly clothes and headed out to garden. We’ve had two or three sunny days in a row and I’ve really been itching to get out there.
So what happens when I finally do have some free time on a sunny afternoon and all the universe is supporting my efforts to dig in the dirt? I didn’t feel like it! My body felt heavy and tired and my spirit was not in it, my spirit was twitchy and yelling at me about the laundry or something equally urgent yet utterly unimportant. It would not shut the hell up!
At a certain point I gave up and just plopped down in the grass on my back and gazed at the clear blue sky above me. It was not a graceful move, more of a trip and fall incident and then I just stayed there, my legs unwilling to do anything for me and me not giving a crap.
During that time our yard filled with birds, a butterfly fluttered over about four inches above me, Peanut came and draped herself over my leg. Nature took me in, almost immediately. The Earth felt solid below me and it was warm from the Sun. It donned on me that I never actually sit on the Earth any more. A chair, a chaise, a hammock, a couch, a bench: all designed to keep you off the ground, off the Earth and away from its energy. It felt right, solid and powerful under my spine. A feeling of inner calm settled in on a level that was much more primal than a couple glasses of wine will do. This laying or sitting right on the Earth was something so simple and so utterly free and renewing, I have promised myself to do it more.
Sometimes you’ve got to do that I guess. I mean, isn’t that why we tend places? So we can have a welcoming and comforting place to go and sit, to be at peace? How many times do we clean our house and then never sit on the damned sofa and just enjoy it? It’s like getting your car washed and never going on a joy ride. When you do sit down you have something with you to keep your mind occupied, busy, productive. It never – ever – just – stops.
It’s harder than you think because your mind is telling you ‘ok good for you, now go do the next thing on the list’. I dare you to do it, sit and do nothing for ten minutes – no TV on or book or human with you, no paper to make notes or lists, no inner planning (and absolutely no phone!) – and see if it doesn’t make you mildly itchy. Sit down in a place that you clean or tend or organize or decorate or walk through on your way to the car every day and just do “NOTHING” but sit there. Enjoy the fruits of your labor and nothing more. Let your mind go wherever it wants. I did and it immediately went to “what shall I do next?” and it was a struggle to stay HERE. Look around and see your space with eyes and mind that are fresh – I’m always amazed at how much of my stuff I don’t even see any more, besides that it’s dusty or needs water, and much more amazed at how much my mind actually races about going nowhere and everywhere until I’m exhausted from the inside out. So, sit and do nothing? It’s more than mildly frightening, which is exactly why I’m going to do it again, sometime today!