Mindfulness in the Mountains
Day one, back from Ireland; I walk the dogs on our favorite trail. One thing about hiking with two large dogs is you don’t get to see a lot of wild life-except their rear end running away from you as fast as they can. We spot, squirrel tails, deer tails, bob cat, fox, and rabbit tails. But this particular day I saw a whole deer. It was down the trail and for some reason the dogs didn’t notice her and she didn’t notice them. We gazed peacefully at each other for a few moments. I was glad I was paying attention.
The next day I hiked in the opposite direction. A soon as we got out of the car I smelled something intensely foul. The dogs helped me find the source quickly. There just off the trail was a partially eaten deer carcass.
The next morning I woke up and heard rustling on my dresser. On investigation, I found a tiny mouse, just a baby, looking at me hiding among the stuffed animals. It was utterly sweet- radiating innocence and fear. I tried to catch it in a cup and then it disappeared. As adorable as I found it, I wasn’t sure I wanted to be roommates. The next morning I found it had drowned in the dogs’ water dish.
Life and death is all around me and you all the time. Our very cells are beginning and ending. The whole spectrum of life is unfolding constantly. It reminded me of last summer about this time when I spending a lot of time in the at UCLA Medical Center with my Mom who was dying. The elevator to the ICU also led to the Obstetric floor, so I often shared it with people carrying balloons shaped like baby bottles bearing the words “It’s a Boy,!”,” It’s a Girl!” and little stuffed bears and bright bouquets of flowers. Life was going on around me.
Lately I’ve been thinking maybe we live our lives in too small a range. A small range of emotion, a small range of activities, group of people, and thoughts (have you noticed you think the same old thoughts over and over again?) Be curious about your life and let it expand. Let it be bigger. Breathe deeper – laugh and cry deeper. Try something new, even if it just seeing what is right around you in a new way.
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