Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Being Mindful

( JUST WANTED TO SAY i TOOK ALL 4 OF THESE IMAGES THIS WEEKEND.)


This weekend was very nice. The sun finally came out. My husbands parents came to visit and so did my Aunt and 2 cousins. It was a great time. We grilled burgers and ate my home made strawberry shortcake and the delicious chocolate pie that my mother in law made.



It was so nice to lounge around the pool. and watch the water glisten in the sun! (Its rained so much the past month, i was thankful for the sun.)






The reason I'm telling you all this is that I wanted to let you know that ever since I was very little, I always noticed the simple things in this world. With wide eyed wonder. Ill never forget the first time i flew in a plane. I couldn't believe that people were actually reading the newspaper and not even looking out the window! MY GOSH! It was amazing what was out that window and they were reading a newstory??? All I could do was stare out the window and I noticed was how all the cities were built on rivers and how the earth really did look like the multidimensional maps we had in school.


And I couldnt help but realize that I was seeing the earth the way God sees it everyday.



Rivers, trees, mountains, huge lakes, colors everywhere. Amazing.



Once i had a boyfriend whose mother really noticed the things I noticed. She told me one day"Im amazed at the things you see, that I dont even give a second thought to!" It was this statement that made me realize that I was different.


To me the world was a feast for the eyes. And believe me, i didnt grow up in a very pretty city.



West Texas is pretty boring and flat. But I found beauty in my backyard. A ladybug (Have you ever really looked at one up close?) the way my chalk scraped across the sidewalk while I drew hop scotch squares. The freckles on my friends nose. And this is sort of corny, but Ill share it.



When I would see a field of cows grazing, to me, it was like looking at a cake (With green frosting and coconut and sprinkles all over it.



To me, it was like God reached into a giant bowl and got a handful of little brown and black cows and sprinkled them down onto the earth, like I would see my mother sprinkle nuts on a cupcake,or raisins on my cearl.



Okay, I know you think that's strange, but that's how I saw it.

I was thrilled when I first saw the ocean as a 17 year old. I could not believe that this was the area of Texas where the land met the sea and the land sunk down and gave into the sea.

It was a WOW Moment!

The first time I saw a photo come alive in the developer tray in a darkroom, I went crazy!

(I was the only one in college that day who said anything about how cool it was!) it was like a magic trick to me.



Making a kite with my dad, out of the funny papers and sticks and glue and tying rags onto the tail and taking it to the playground at my elementary school


And seeing that kite fly! And seeing it go higher and higher. My dad letting the string out more and more until i could hardly even see the kite anymore.


WOW!

All these were WOW moments to me.


You know, its sad that most people hustle around running from place to place. Going to work, taking our kids to soccor practice, rushing home, eating fast, living fast, sleeping, here and there. Scurrying around like ants!


Why don't we slow down and be Mindful. I drive my husband crazy sometimes, because I wont give into that rush.

Don't get me wrong, i do work very hard. But I always always always notice the little things. Maybe that's what makes me a good photographer. The details. I used to be tardy a lot in school because as I walked to school, I would smell the roses in little old lady Mrs. Fergusons yard.


Id watch the fall leaves falling off the trees in Dr. Harless's yard.


Id always see the rainbow after the rain. I would pick up snails that came out after the rain.


I would say hello to the old people sitting on their porches and wave to them! I always would take the time to listen to older people talk about their childhoods or tell me stories. Always. Even when my friends thought it wasnt cool. Because I loved to listen and look at them. Their hands, the wrinkles, their eyes, hazy with cataracts. Smell the old mens pipe tobacco floating in the air.

I would pick dandelions on the way home from school and give them to my mom and she would put them into a tiny vase in her kitchen window. Once home, I would go out back and close my eyes and smell the sheets and towels hanging on the line and fill my lungs with the magical scent.

I'd notice and pick up pennies off the sidewalk and street. I found lots of them and dimes and quarters too sometimes!

I can literally tell you where every stick of furniture was in my house when I was only 7 (and we only lived there for 3 years, 7-9 years old)
And I spent a lot of time laying in the yard watching the clouds float by and trying to see shapes and objects in them.(Listening to my favorite singer John Denver. Most of his songs were about nature and Colorado and I loved him! still do!)



Mindfulness means living in the moment and observing what is around us.

Most of us dont do it until we are on vacation. And then it takes days. And now with Cell phones and lap tops and emails, some never slow down to be mindful.


This weekend I sat in my backyard and I noticed another Wow moment! A tiny Caterpillar on the tile near my pool. I put my finger out and let him crawl on my hand and then I gently placed him onto my wisteria leaves. And noticed his furry face and body and interesting anteneas.



I called my son to see it too. (hes 14 and too cool with his ipod headphones in his ears 24/7 and texting on his cell phone all hours of the day and night. But even he was sort of entranced by this little Caterpillar.



Even he slowed down and played with him. Then he put his ipod away and sat down beside me and enjoyed the day. (Well about an hour of the day, but he did slowdown and relax a little.)






As I sat in my new cedar Adirondack chair, inhaling the scent of the cedar (i love that smell)
Watching the sun glisten on the pool water. Watching my new friend the 1 inch long Caterpillar and the way that the sun set and the sky turned purple above me, until the purple gave way to deep blue and then black. Then my husband came outside to see if i was okay. (And brought me a drumstick ice cream and sat with me as I listened to the cricketts chirping and the water babling in a fountain near me.



I sighed a deep breath of air out and said a silent prayer- thanking God giving me another day on this earth, so that I could enjoy all the beauty around me,



Why don't you take the time each day to notice these things? It will do wonders for your blood pressue and your health.
I guess in a way, Ive never grown up, but I wouldnt have it any other way. My children think its really great, because I can relate to them. Every summer we explore nature. Mountains, beach, doing things we've never done before. Living. really living... (It doesnt cost anything to be mindful and stop and smell the roses... Give it a try. You wont regret it.)

Heres a great little video to remind you to be mindful.


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