Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Being Still

It's ages since I've contributed a post to this blog, but somehow daily life has been getting in the way. You know the stuff. The laundry. The gardening. The washing-up. The diary gets full and I wonder what is happening. Where did all this STUFF come from?

Well, I've reached a hiatus. It has come about as something of an accident. My counsellor was going to be away, and offered me a four week holiday from our usual appointments. It's a great chance for what we have been working on lately to bed in. And what we have been working on is, strangely appropriately, 'Being Still'.

Being still. Listening to my body. Listening to my life. Accepting where I am, every last detail of it. Even the bits that hurt. Being mindful. Just stopping and standing still occasionally to really smell, to really look, to really taste or hear. To imprint that single, unique moment on my brain, to really experience it, because I will never have it again.

For example, right now. The window is open. The study is full of cool air and the damp, mossy smell of the woods after rain. The cockerel is crowing round the corner. I can see light rippling on the pond below me, and the tail of a duckling bobbing up and down as it trawls through the mud. The warm softness of my cardigan sleeve on the skin of my arm. The stillness of the house around me.

Life at the moment seems to be a procession of perfect moments strung together with frenzied blur, periods so busy I don't have time to be aware. This came home to me the other day when we went up to Ditchingham Hall for the open gardens event in aid of the NSPCC Full Stop appeal, one of our favourite charities. The gardens are spectacular, as I hope the pictures in this blog testify. But I found I spent the whole afternoon rushing round taking photos in a frantic effort to capture the garden for later, instead of experiencing it in the moment. If I had only sat there and looked quietly at the rose gardens or the peonies, I would have seen them, really seen them. I came away feeling cheated, as if the afternoon had been wasted. I wanted to go back the next day to really look. But of course, I shall not have the opportunity to do that until next year now.

As I get older, I am becoming aware that time is finite. I have only so many of these moments left. Not that I am ancient, but you get the idea. The point of these few weeks is to try to be present, to be aware, to accept what is real, right now. Not to always be thinking about what has happened, or what the future might bring, or how it ought to be.

So I am busy Being Still. And it's okay.

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