Sometimes, I forget to stop. Not just slowdown, but actually stop. Taking time to pause and reflect, to take a breath in and to just be.... with no agenda, no expectations, no promises. Some are good at clearing time each day for self care and pondering, but for some of us, it takes practice and doesnt come very naturally. I'm one of those people. After weeding, planting, and watering seedlings, I circled the lawn three more times before I finally made up my mind that I could afford to spare a few moments on such frivolity. I went inside, washed up, combed the wild curls off of my forehead and prepared for a date with myself. Carrying a round, metal tray by the handles, I balanced my favorite teapot and a pretty pink cup and saucer and made my way slowly down the stairs and into the front garden. Settling into my favorite purple chair and sipping lavishly on a pot of tea, I sighed a long- over-due sigh and closed my eyes.
I hesitantly tried to relax . Surely some disaster would happen if I let my guard down, if I abandoned my post, so to speak. What price is to be paid for casually wasting time? For awhile I sat, a little tensely, just looking around waiting for something. I fully anticipated the need to adjust some little flower pot that had toppled over, answer a phone call, or slay a dragon. You know, the usual stuff. Nothing. Nothing happened. Oddly enough, the more nothing happened, the more unsettled I became. Wasn't it my responsibility to save the world? To straighten, clean, and neatly fold all the untidy things that came along? A little bit of panic swept over me as I realised that I wasnt the center of the universe, nor was I the center of the world. I wasnt even the center of my circle of friends or my family. Not that I wasn't important, but the world seemed to be managing with out my imput, direction or heroics. I was, however at the center of my garden. Birds began to dart about, playing some version of tag between me and the cherry tree branches, others hovered near- by and wondered why I hadn't been by to visit more often. Flowers swayed in the gentle breezes and gave up their scent for me to draw in and enjoy. Even the tea took on a richness and flavor I usually miss.
I took in another breath and exhaled deeply, succumbing to the quiet solitude of the garden. As I became a part of this restful place, thoughts and day dreams danced around my head and entertained me with stories, poems and songs. They drew me unto a world without boundaries, without time, without judgements; a world very reminiscent of a time I had almost forgotten about. childhood. That realm that smelled of lilacs and dirt. The place where you sat with a pile of flowers in front of your criss-crossed legs and made daisy-chains to wear around your neck. The days of rubbing dandelions on your legs until they turned yellow, and buttercups under your chin to see if you liked boys. When you knew you could fly with the eagles and swim with the mermaids. Good still triumphed over evil and you were invincible. In a way, you were the center of your own very small world, but God still ruled the universe. I stayed here awhile before allowing my mind to meandered back to the present. I realise that strength doesnt come from holding the world together, but by laying the burden down and daring to dream again.