Monday, March 21, 2016

Climbing the walls



In this corner of the world, nature is waking up with a stifled, slightly embarrassed yawn. Winter has overslept its welcome and the ground is buzzing with the stretch of new greenery while tiny fists have pushed out of the barest of branches overnight. A tip of the hat to the tip of the clock for yesterday was the Spring Equinox.

And with it energy is spiraling up through my brain like vines climbing beyond the roof. My thoughts are spinning, swinging from one puffed up cloud to the next on a verbal trapeze, uncatchable. While at times that makes me smile at the folly, I also feel strongly the need to focus towards something centered at the root. 

Do you have a meditation practice? I have always danced around one, just as I have with my pick and choose spiritual beliefs. But at this time in my life, it seems like the biggest gift that I can give myself, along with healthy doses of self-care and kindness. So I am taking a cross-legged seat, closing my eyes and focusing on my breath, that greatest of gifts, never to be taken for granted. 

My mind will only calm for mere moments and so I listen to Jack Kornfield's instruction to treat those rollicking ideas as I would teach a puppy to stay, gently. Over and over, I come back to just being. At times that feels like it is all that I do. Start over, start over...reconnect. But it is wonderful to be able to peak around a new corner with a taste of hope untarnished in my mouth...


...so ripe for this time of year, here...and now. A beginning.

As today is World Poetry Day (thank you, Edgar!), 
I thought that I might share a poem that I keep coming back to from Mary Oliver's new collection called Felicity:

The World I Live In

I have refused to live
locked in the orderly house of
    reasons and proofs.
The world I live in and believe in
is wider than that. And anyway,
    what's wrong with Maybe?

You wouldn't believe what once or
twice I have seen. I'll just
     tell you this:
only if there are angels in your head will you
     ever, possibly, see one.


Whether you are winding up or down, please know that I am sending my best thoughts to you as we enter another season, one ripe with opportunities.

Thank you for being here,
Heather

43 comments:

DaniBP said...

Lovely post. That poem! And the description of your meditation practice, hmmm I really have to try that.. just keep starting over with it, such good advice. I was always able to centre myself but that has been more difficult the last couple of years with worry and anxiety taking over my mind. I'll try again so thank you for that. XO

Loree said...

uch as I adore spring, my spirits wilt at the thought that summer is looming. So I guess you can say I am winding down but happy to see that you are so upbeat at the start of the equinox.

Judith Ross said...

Oh yes, you captured the mood perfectly. Here in New England we woke up to 6 inches of snow on the ground on this early spring day (my birthday in fact!). And, as Paul and I contemplate leaving our home of 23 years, we both feel surges of melancholy mixed with the excitement of a new adventure. Yes, definitely a good time to find ways to quiet one's mind (for me, swimming is a form of meditations) and stay centered while also relaxing into the flow of events as they play out in their own time.

Unknown said...

Heather, you don't have to sit to meditate. When you are walking in Les Alpilles and focusing on nature...that's what you are doing instinctively....focusing on beauty

Ali

Bill Facker said...

Aloha Heather, I'm happy to simply "be" .. be here at this moment, reading your words. Merci for continuing to share!

Mahalo et Merci,
Bill

Joan McKniff said...

I love fresh starts; Spring is one of my favorites! Today added a big pot of yet to bloom hyacinths to the kitchen counter. Tomorrow will hang a wreath I made in Madagascar with vines and more from my garden there, welcoming people here in Florida. Creating an island of peace in today's world.

La Contessa said...

HAPPY SPRING!
DO something EXTRAORDINARY TODAY...............
XO

simpleimages2 said...

Yes. One can quiet down even that gentle thought for a few moments…
a few more moments…a few more…a few…a

yes. each day.

and yes, lets consider each day
each, a doorway, “one ripe with opportunities”
we have to step out
not be “locked” inside
yes,”hope” waits in every corner.

I love the ivies.


francetaste said...

There are a few climbing roses around here, in protected corners, that never stopped blooming this year, it has been so warm. And today is another gloriously sunny day, perfect for a run through the vineyards.
I never succeeded much with meditation. I made progress at the School of Philosophy in Brussels, and even more doing yoga, but I'm too much of a doer to be able to stand it for long. I agree with Ali--living in the moment can be just as good.

Jeanne Henriques said...

Edgar..sums it up..and.. yes "hope" waits in every corner. You mentioned Jack Kornfield which of course sent me off in search of a book I have tucked away for when in need of inspiring thoughts, 'Buddha's Little Instruction Book'. I picked it up and opened to.. "In wisdom be a lamp, a light unto yourself". Perfect! Happy Spring Heather! xx ;)

Silke Bauer said...

Yes, in fact Spring is coming also this year and it always seems like a little wonder to me. Nature provides these wonders for us despite all the terror that is just happening again. Today may be a good day for a run in the vineyards but a very bad one if one had started that journey from Brussels.

Now, you see it happened again, I wanted to write something positive about a new beginning and end up writing about terror.

Though Spring is still a wee bit further away here than it already is in the South of France (I saw 17C yesterday), I am visiting everyday my Clematis on my balcony that is already pushing and shows strong signs of growth. Thats my meditation practice.(And going to the woods, though only municipal, listening to the birds...(;

I wish you a wonderful Spring dear Heather!!!

Advaitaa Homes said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Optimistic Existentialist said...

This is pure poetry...the way those vines climb the walls <3

Julie Bresette said...

Just lovely! Happy Spring!

RebeccaNYC said...

Oh I have such a hard time shutting off the monkey mind. Usually my mantra turns into "shut up shut up shut up" which seems, somehow, wrong for a meditation practice. I find knitting to be meditative, the repeating motions, the going back and forth...sort of like the swimming I used to do...I would let it all out in the pool...and just leave it there.

and I love the idea of a day for poetry. Especially in these terrible times, I keep thinking about this one:

The Peace of Wild Things by Wendell Berry

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Charlotte Des Fleurs said...

Spring hit my part of Southern California over a month ago - purple French lilacs, white flowering pears and deep blue rosemary have been in full bloom since mid February. However, as if on cue for March 20th - Sunday morning I noticed that the roses, Rose-scented Geraniums, and Cistus (Rockroses) have suddenly burst into bloom.

Gardening with classical instrumental music or church music is my meditation. I also commune with God in my Garden which seems appropriate since life began in a Garden.

AND, Reason and Logic can happily co-exist with "what-ifs?" We would have no scientific advances or any kind of advances for that matter, if some one did not wonder about "what if?" Logic and reason simply confirm that the "what if?" is true so the next generation of thinkers can build upon that truth.

Spring time has always been the season for renewal. Printemps is related to the words prime and time meaning first time or first season of the year.

Bonjour Printemps!

Charlotte

Mary said...

I just love these rigid buildings juxtaposed with the fluidity of meditation and belief...it can be such a struggle to balance the two. Somehow you seemed to do it in this post. So glad to hear you're meditating, and remember that meditation in itself is fluid too, whether lying, sitting, listening to music or weeding the lawn. Wishing you clarity and peace this spring:)

Maria Anagnostopoulou said...

very upset about Brussels. Reading "War and peace", nothing changed but the trees are still blooming

Heather Robinson said...

Oh Dani, I am so excited that you are even considering doing so! And fear, worry and anxiety are exactly the reasons why I am trying to develop a practice, so I am right there with you.
Sending good energy to you...xo

Heather Robinson said...

It is true, Loree, it is so different for you. I understand that. We had such a brutal summer last year but for you it is like that every year, I think. But yet, I always love your quiet posts during the heat - that is selfish of me, I guess!

Heather Robinson said...

You are such an interesting place in your life right now, Judith. You know that not only beyond your birthday wishes I am sending hope for a beautiful new adventure ahead!
And how wonderful to swim...I wish that I was a swimmer!

Heather Robinson said...

Ali, I loved this response of yours. I seldom feel so centered or at peace with both myself and in the world as when I am walking with a camera in hand, actively trying to seek beauty in the world.
Bisous.

Heather Robinson said...

Many of us are grateful that you are here to just "be" with us, Bill! Sending my Best Wishes as you recover...
Namaste.

Heather Robinson said...

So needed, Joan. And I love that you have respect for your past all while embracing the new. I tend to drag my heels at change, a lesson to be learned...

Heather Robinson said...

I think that you do something extraordinary every day!
much love to you

Heather Robinson said...

Edgar, I just wanted to let you know that I wrote down the central section of your beautiful response on a post-it note. It is on my computer and I have already read it so many times.

Once a healer, always a healer...
Thank you.

Heather Robinson said...

What I think is interesting is that there are such different means - whatever works!

My heart goes out to you, you must be feeling this horrible terrorist attack very strongly.

Heather Robinson said...

Thank you for that beautiful quote, Jeanne. It is just perfect. And I am so enjoying Jack Kornfield's gentle encouragement and wisdom. I admit that I have had this cd for years but it is only now that I am listening to it...
Happy Eternal Spring to you in Saigon! :)

Heather Robinson said...

Silke, of course you mention the terror. I would be surprised if you did not. But please do keep focusing all the more on that Clematis and the promise that it holds. And the birds are coaxing your heart too...Giving you a warm hug, my friend.

Heather Robinson said...

Keith! It is so wonderful to hear from you! Hope all is well in your world.

Heather Robinson said...

Merci Julie! And to you too!

Heather Robinson said...

This has made me cry every time that I have read it, Rebecca...with something like relief if that makes sense. Thank you so much for giving this beautiful gift during a time when it was greatly needed.

And also for making me laugh. Something tells me - I could be way off here - that your mantra might need a tiny bit of tweaking. ;)

I love your image of leaving behind all your troubles in the pool. We forget the importance of water...

Heather Robinson said...

I think that we are all ready for a bit of "prime time" deep in the beauty of nature's renewal right about now, Charlotte...

Heather Robinson said...

Thank you so much for this beautiful response, Mary and for the wishes of clarity of peace as I am very ready to welcome both. There are options for release in many forms it would seem.
Sending my Best Wishes to you...

Heather Robinson said...

I am too, Maria. The sadness is all the heavier for the contrast with nature, one that knows far better than we...

Maria Anagnostopoulou said...

I am thinking every day of her...

Karena Albert said...

Beautifully said Heather! As I watch the Spring bulbs pop up out of the ground, the ivy spreading and all of the flowering trees; I think of new life and new beginnings. It IS a miracle!

Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

xoxo
Karena
Featuring Artist Scott McBee

Lorrie said...

This is the second post today (three days after you wrote) where I've read a new poem by Mary Oliver, one of my favorite modern poets. She has such a lovely way of stringing words together.
When I am in the forest, by the ocean, or in the garden - it's then that my thoughts ramble for awhile, then focus on the gifts of sunshine on my back, the smell of the earth, the satisfaction of pulling out weeds, and the sight of emerging green. And I give thanks to God. That's meditative for me.

Heather Robinson said...

Thank you Karena and to you too! Yes, let's hear it for the miracle of beauty and nature, so important to us today...

Heather Robinson said...

I agree, Lorrie. Being amidst the natural beauty of the world is one of the great shortcuts to the divine for me. Music and art are two others but not as reliable as the most simple acts of our world...
Joyeuse Pâques,
h

beautycalypse.wordpress.com said...

Oh, you've tweaked your blog design, haven't you? Your gorgeous photography stands out so much more from white. Love it!

And it's SO MUCH MORE delight to come back again and again since my comments aren't eaten by blogspot :D

Jackie and Joel Smith said...

We've just arrived back at our Stone House on the Hill (amid a dust storm followed by a rain storm) but this week the sun has returned and I am seeing the same signs of spring that you've noted above. Some of my best meditation time is when I am working in the garden or gazing out over the grove and yesterday I simply took a few minutes and watched the clouds float past. . .Happy Spring!

B. M. said...

#yogagirl ;)

- B xx