Rings of rippling water
Wings flapping overhead
Birds, geese, ducks
Tweeting, honking, quacking
Calls and answers in their communal habitat.
Well, I can count on one finger how many times in the past 6 months I have actually used this coveted time in such a way. I wind up going to the grocery store, talking on the phone, taking one of the kids to the doctor, or driving aimlessly, wondering what on earth I am doing driving on the traffic jammed highways of Los Angeles with no destination.
Today, although I had many chances to diverge away from my intended path, with 25 other things on my list, I forced myself to take a small 1 hour retreat to a secluded pond, one of the Valley’s best kept secrets.
As I sat and allowed my breath to sweep through dust and cobwebs in neglected places, my mind slowed, my shoulders found respite from my ears, and my soul emerged to shake my hand, almost as if to say “Hey there. Haven’t seen you in awhile. Should we start from the beginning?”
As the saying goes, “you must secure your own mask before assisting others”. Yes. We all know that. Nothing new. Why then, is it so hard to remember or follow through with? While it is wonderful to talk to friends with whom we never get to finish sentences, and necessary to prepare meals and run errands, it is just as imperative to be still, and reacquaint ourselves with…ourselves.
So, in answer to a question in my previous post about why some of us as mothers feel insecure at times, I’ll pose another question. How can we be secure with someone we hardly know? Perhaps we just need to reconnect with who we are sans labels… Mom, Wife, Artist, Employee, Boss, Sister, Friend, etc.
If I don’t take time to open my arms up to myself, I can’t very well open them up to anyone else, can I? Maybe this would explain my short fuse and lack of patience lately with normal two-year-old behavior.
As mothers, time to do this is limited, if nonexistent, and yet maybe more necessary than for any other. So, as I have been looking for the “Off” switch on the treadmill for quite some time, today it was just a matter of simply stepping off and hanging with the ducks.
Yes, dinner was left unprepared, and voicemails and emails remain unanswered, but thank God for takeout and tomorrows. What small thing can you do for yourself today to “hang with the ducks”?