― Max Ehrmann, Desiderata : A Poem for a Way of Life
I woke up this morning with my to-do list screaming a cacophony of words in my head: schedule, appointments, e-mail, phone calls, Facebook, Google, Twitter, Pinterest, blog, websites, marketing, groceries, cleaning...and on and on it went.
Each clamoring thought was demanding my immediate attention and I didn't know where to begin. I felt overwhelmed and exhausted before I even made my way out of bed! I headed straight for the coffee pot, brewed and poured a steaming hot cuppa and headed for my office - a papasan chair in front of a window overlooking the pond in our backyard. Coffee in hand, my little maltese cuddled up securely by my side, I prepared to pick up my laptop and begin the tasks at hand. And then I paused and looked outside.
Two wood ducks were leisurely swimming around in the pond, creating radiating circles in the water as they glided along. Cicadas and frogs pervaded the air with their calls. The "to-do" cacophony in my mind was overcome by the symphony of bird song outside. Instead of reaching for my laptop, I cranked the window wide open. The brisk, chilly morning air hit me immediately, waking me up with its freshness. The wood ducks took off from the pond and landed in the big, old oak tree. I watched as they flew from branch to branch, and then nose-dived back into the pond. A woodpecker hacked away at an oak bough, wood splinters flying down into the pond below. A squirrel clambered and leaped from branch to branch with complete abandon, carefree and content to be doing its thing. I became one of them and one with them - a part of nature, simply existing and being. I didn't even rush to grab my camera in order to capture the moment - I was one with the moment and nothing more was required. Tears welled up in my eyes and fell; a release of tension, expectations, pressure, judgement and demands. My soul rested deeply.
This is why my "desk" is a comfortable chair located in front of a big picture window; so that nature can remind me, again and again, to simply rest in the moment. Nature is always there, beckoning me to return home and ready for me to rest in it's simple truth. Amidst the cacophony of life, it's sweet strains bring me back to the power of silence. There will never be a greater or better teacher for me.