Sunday, August 14, 2011

Ringing the Bell

I've been aware of this all along but today it reverberated through me like the ring of a bell: T'ai Chi Chih practice returns me to a stillpoint where I can deeply appreciate the beauty and richness of my surroundings. Its soft, slow, grace-filled movements root me into my environment which allows me to smell the smells, see the sights, and feel the feelings that often pass me by unnoticed.

An example: This morning I looked over at Lucy near the beginning of my practice and watched her extend one leg behind her in a graceful, slow, delicate stretch. She looked like a ballerina ... or a T'ai Chi Ch'uan player ... or ... a goose at home in her body. It actually appeared that she had decided to join me in my T'ai Chi Chih practice. Later she walked past me and resettled herself nearby as if to soak in some of the lovely energy and immerse herself in my quiet presence.

When I returned my gaze forward, I noticed the trunk of a tree that Frances felled yesterday. She'd cut it into even chunks of wood that rested on the earth at the edge of the yard. A slip of sunshine edged through the overhanging leaves and illuminated the work in process.

The living trees that surrounded me filled me with their quiet, comforting presence. And I felt at peace.

Interestingly, yesterday's shift at the library passed without incident. Traffic through the library was leisurely and sedate. Obviously, any time I spent anticipating a busy, demanding day was wasted. Reminder to Self: It's much more productive to spend my time rooted in the present than adrift in an unknown future.

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