Mindfulness is a River

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Day 7 – Be mindful. Write about what helps you stay centered in the present.

Autumn Glass © 2012 Jane Waterman
Autumn Glass © 2012 Jane Waterman

In only seven days, I feel like blogging has taken me through the gamut of my experiences: through joy, silliness, sorrow, despair and hope. I’ve travelled through the past, explored the present and trawled the future.

There is another place, however, and it’s essential for all beings, but most especially the chronically ill. It’s mindfulness: a place of quiet stillness, a meditation measured by rushing water or rustling leaves. A place punctuated by the cry of a lonely sky bird. A dark place under the leaves.

I knew I needed to get out today, and nature wrapped itself beautifully around me: a grey day under the trees with the lightest scattering of rain and a chill that moves the air through your lungs and reminds you to breathe. How often we forget that simplest facet of life, which can bring calm when we allow ourselves to submerge within it.

My walk took me to the borders of my imagination as I immersed myself in the last golden leaves of autumn, the broad green ribbon of the Cowichan River, and the dark green mossy trunks of the pines that stood sentinel overhead.

It perhaps seems odd that in this dream state I become most mindful, most centered and most present, but it’s true. Breathing moves energy through me, and stale areas of pain dissolve. It’s cold for my joints, but I don’t mind. It makes me feel alive.

The big mother salmon swim upstream, spawning in the river bed, and after their great migration, they too seem calm in these moments. Watching them I feel the desire I’ve always had to flow with the river: not to struggle upstream, but to drift in long, lazy arcs to the sea.

This feeling is my peace, and sitting here, aware of more pain, I can’t wait to visit there again.

Many blessings,
Jane

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