|Lainey Piland photo|
“A single gentle rain makes the grass many shades greener. So our prospects brighten on the influx of better thoughts. We should be blessed if we lived in the present always, and took advantage of every accident that befell us."
-Henry David Thoreau, Walden
Life for me has been hectic and full of changes lately, and my days are flying past in a blur. It's difficult to center ourselves when it feels like each day whirls past in a continuous pattern: wake up, go to work, come home, sleep, and then do it over again four more times, and then... ahhhh! Two blissful weekend days. However, we can't rely solely on the all-too-short weekends to once again ground ourselves in the present and slow down each moment of our lives to a speed at which we can fully appreciate it.
Lately, I've found myself focusing on one particular thing - something I see or hear or smell - and allowing myself to stop completely and focus on that one thing for just a moment. This seems to press pause on my busy day, and allows me to mentally catch my breath. On my hike at Rasar State Park a few weeks back, we hit the trail shortly after a morning rainstorm had rolled through the area, and my attention was absorbed by each glistening drop of rainwater hanging from threads of moss and clinging to bare branches. I allowed myself the time to stop and stare and be fascinated by the simple beauty of a thousand shining droplets which hung from their tenuous anchors, gradually swelling until they dropped to the soft earth below with a distinctive patter.
[Optional soothing rainy soundtrack for this week's post. Warning if you're at work... this plays automatically when you open the web page!]
And yesterday at work, as I was walking back into the building after my lunch break, a familiar and unexpected sound stopped me in my tracks: the sound of a male Anna's hummingbird chattering and scolding someone from the branches of a nearby tree. That sassy little bird reminded me of the hummingbirds at my home who do the exact same thing. His unexpected voice brought a smile to my face, and for an instant brought my busy mind to a pleasant halt firmly in that one moment.