Most of my days I wake up away from home because I house sit for a friend who has been quarantined away from Bakersfield. Lately I have been waking up, walking my way into a haiku poem and photo and getting home in time to fix breakfast for Samuel and myself and starting my work day in my home office.
Today I was shorter on time than usual because I host Ta-Da Tuesday at 7:30 am and I had my #5for5BrainDump writing session to facilitate at 9. I didn’t have time for a lengthy walk and I wanted a walk. Oh, how I wanted to take a walk and it was making me grouchy that I wasn’t able to walk longer and just cavort according to my own choosing.
I arrived at one of the parks I sometimes enjoy spending a slice of time in the morning and felt ornery when I heard leaf blowers. And then I heard lawn mowers. And then I almost didn’t get out of my car to walk because “the noise was ruining my experience (how dare they.”
I remembered I have the luxury of choosing what my responses are. I have the joy of choosing whether or not I walk or whether I take a photo and write a haiku.
I opened my door and stepped out and into the parking lot and immediately smelled fresh, cut grass. I smiled. Yes. I made the right choice.
I walked across the parking lot and as I lifted my foot, I saw a spent hypodermic needle. I shut my eyes and felt the tendrils of anger rise up from my gut. To the west of the park is a methadone clinic. Naturally there will be heroin addicts around.
I took that anger and breathed love into it. Tonglen meditation says to allow the revulsion to be there and breathe in the revulsion of the many and exhale relief for revulsion. In this moment I breathed in compassion and prayer for the pain of the addict who used the needle. I exhaled relief, I exhaled peace for the person and for other junkies who may have dropped needles in other parks.
All of this was done as I continued to walk. I paused as I walked toward the pond where ducks were swimming to inhale the scent of grass, mounds of freshly cut grass filled me with delight. I went on a short trip in my mind to my elementary school classroom. My heart thrilled at the side-trip.
I realized how sunrise was still putting on a show and felt such joy. I admired the mallards and the other, not-identifiable probably “mutt ducks.” I noticed the pigeons on the roof of the bridge. I smiled as some started circling and dancing and playing as if they were celebrating the sunrise and the freshly mown grass and they were flying around to celebrate the feeling good rather than feeling lousy. I am not yet able to circle around in flight, so I pulled out my notebook.
I noticed as some of the pigeons were not stereotypical looking. One was brown with white spots. Another pigeon was smudged with shades of black. The other pigeons didn’t seem to mind, though in their pecking order I am sure some may hold their beaks in a particularly superior way, but I am not one to pass pigeon judgment.
I didn’t want to leave the park but people were waiting. The rest of my life was waiting.
Because of the seemingly inconsequential choices I made, I was filled up to the brim with passionate aliveness even with noise, even with ugliness, even with any number of things I might have, at another time, labeled as wrong.
This morning I chose passion above being a grouch.
This morning I chose movement above staying stagnant.
This morning I chose tonglen meditation over grumbling about something I stepped over.
This morning I chose peace over spilling anger and aloofness.
This morning sunrise found me, unexpectedly, as I found myself back to people I connect to with love.
Today, what will you choose?
Julie JordanScott, the Creative Life Midwife, is a writer, a poet performer, a Creativity Coach, A Social Media Whiz and a Mother of three. One of her greatest joys include loving people into their greatness they just aren’t quite able to realize yet.
Julie is also one of the Founders of Bridge to the New Year. Access the visionary prompst from the mid-2020 in #Refresh2020 to reflect, connect, intend and taking passionate action to create a truly remarkable rest of 2020.