I pass one person on the trail. “Hello", I say. “Hey", he says, "how’s it going?” We go on. I see no one else on my hike for the next hour.
A teeny tiny spider crosses my path. Red legs black body graceful and swift. On I go, inundated with the aromas of the trail. All the spring flowers are in bloom with their vibrant color. I love this "super bloom"! White, purple, yellow, orange, lavender, pink coral! Is this for real, I’m wondering? I feel so heart-full! I get distracted and I stumble. I catch my toe so hard on a rock I see stars! My toe throbs and I lose my balance. I don’t know if I’m falling backwards or forwards or over the side of the steep hill into a gully below where all those beautiful flowers with their treacherous thorns and sticky parts live. I’m definitely startled, but I kind of don’t care. In fact I’m laughing and it seems sort of funny as I recapture my center of gravity. It’s just so beautiful and serene. I feel like there is only me and this enormous beauty in this moment. A bird flies inches in front of my face. A lizard slips by. I take a few more steps. I hear my breath and feel a breeze. The sky is so blue. Soon I arrive at the stream. It is full with the winter rains. It sings and babbles. I sit and listen to the water flow. Right now, taking “it” all in, it feels great to be alive!
What do you connect with, dear Reader. Do you notice when a rock has fallen in your path or flowers are blooming everywhere? Do you know the difference between the fennel and the mint that grows by the side of the trail, edible and refreshing; and poison oak which can cause a fire so hot on your skin you want to scratch it off with all your might?
What the hell am I really asking? I’m wondering if you take time to notice YOUR life. Maybe it’s not outdoors. Maybe for you a magical moment of absolute presence comes from a book. Or a kiss. But I suggest, it’s not in your iPhone or Android. I don’t believe it’s in your Herculiean capacity to binge watch your favorite shows on Netflix. These are today’s opiates for the masses. Consider, our screens and technology are costing us relationships with each other, nature, the world, and our minds. We are losing contact with what matters most inside ourselves as well as our ability to feel confident and take pleasure in connecting with each other.
Can you sit quietly with yourself and listen to your heart beat? Do you ever meditate? Do you ever take walks by yourself, or write in a journal. If you answer “no” to these questions, maybe pick one and give it a try. See if some feeling of being alive and in love with yourself amplifies when take some time to be with yourself.