ten breaths

{Ten moments from the past few weeks that captured my attention, realigned my focus and brought me fully into the present. All shifts of awareness taking place in the expanse of just a breath… like ten breaths of fresh air.}IMG_5352inhale. The evening is warm. And windy. Thunder and lightning fill the air at the helm of an approaching cold front. I slip out into the darkness and find momentary refuge in my rocking chair on the deck. A little break from the noise and commotion of the world indoors with three excited children who are as charged as the atmosphere. I have the vague sense of where the moon is by the slight illumination of the racing clouds. Each flash of lightning makes the darkness of the bare trees more intensely dark; their cobweb of interlacing black branches holding up the strobing sky. And there, caught in a momentary flash of light, I see a single leaf on it’s quiet and lonely descent to the ground. A beautiful drifting dance captured in my mind like a painting. exhale.

inhale. Ira is sitting on the couch, practicing his reading. He has selected Dr. Seuss’s Fox in Socks. His tongue gets twisted and he bursts out in contagious hysterical laughter. exhale.IMG_5360inhale. I’m on my way to the wood pile. I’m lost in thought about something or other, probably thinking about what to prepare for the next meal. A sudden “trill” sounds in the air above me. The cranes. I look up into the crisp blue November sky to locate them, so high up I have to squint to gain focus. A tiny arrow of birds soaring southward in the vast expanse of blue. exhale.

inhale. The evening is here again. I walk into the kitchen and see the aftermath of a day spent mostly indoors. I approach the sink to tackle the dirty heap of dishes and half-finished cups of milk.  A giggle escapes from behind one of the cabinet doors. A sly and unseen smile, hiding. exhale.IMG_5356inhale. Saturday afternoon. I’m driving the truck home from Nashville after our final CSA delivery and farmer’s market of the season. I’m feeling pretty tired. It’s always a long drive and I’m eager to be home. Just a few miles from the farm, I look to my left, across a field of rich brown earth and the stubble of recently harvested corn. Caught on the wind, a Northern Harrier soars so low its wing tips seem to almost brush the ground… brown bird painting a brown landscape. The teetering flight, just inches from the ground, fills me with awe. exhale.

inhale. The day is cold. Outside it is precipitating; an uncommitted hybrid of rain and snow. After scanning the scene out the window, I look to the floor near the woodstove, where a lambskin rug is carefully spread. Ten little bare toes wriggle down into the wool. Warmth. Security. Comfort. exhale.IMG_5361inhale. It is starting to snow outside. I grab the firewood bags and head out for a refill, mostly focusing on the completion of the task so I can get the wood inside before it gets any wetter. The girls have zipped outside as well, to check out the newly falling snow. There is loud crunching. I realize that Opal is busily eating an icy snowball. exhale.

inhale. The day has dawned. In the fog of emerging from dreamland, a winter wren sings it’s melodious tune just outside the bedroom window, crisp and clear as a bell. A wake-up call with wings. exhale. IMG_5362inhale. It’s early morning. While breakfast cooks, I try to steal a few minutes at the computer. The words are not flowing and my gaze drifts out the loft window. There in the branches of the dogwood tree that overhangs our house is a bluebird busily having it’s breakfast. The brilliant blue of the bird and the glistening red dogwood berries that it is feasting upon are intensely illuminated against the bleak grey of the sky and saturated bark of leafless trees. Bright jewels of color explode and fly away. exhale.

inhale. My family is sitting down to lunch. The children are busily, eagerly eating and chattering away to whomever might be listening. I see Eric scan each precious face, quietly observing each child. We catch each other’s gaze and share a smile. exhale.IMG_5357So breath deeply, friends! And in the hustle and bustle of the coming holidays, don’t forget to treat yourself to an occasional breath of fresh air…

12 thoughts on “ten breaths

  1. This is lovely, and such an important reminder, especially at this busy time of year. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed most of this week, so I am going to take a moment this evening to reflect on the times when I was “in the moment” (e.g. a morning bird walk, time with my owl friends at the wildlife rescue where I volunteer, coffee with a friend, a spontaneous stop at a pond when an unusual pair of ducks caught my eye…). I think you’ve given me some inspiration for a future post. Thank you! (Joy of Joyfully Green directed me to your post. Thanks, Joy!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s