This morning, I was about to share an image online. I’d been holding onto the picture for a while, in no hurry to share it. It was just a simple picture of something I appreciated as the sun rose one morning. No particular words had come to mind yet, only a sense that whatever words I patched together would be simple and few, as recommended by Mary Oliver in her poem, “Praying”.
The website wasn’t loading. While waiting for it to do its thing, as the spinning ball of eternity spun, I became aware…of the songbirds singing. They brought me back into Presence: a here-and-now state of awareness beyond thinking that is such a sweet, expansive homecoming.
The Internet was down. Again. However, the computer connectivity issue seemed so small – barely a ripple on the surface – in this spacious field of awareness. Because I was connected with and immersed in something so much bigger, like the ocean that holds all the waves.
I decided to turn off the modem. While I was standing there waiting for a couple of minutes to pass before turning it back on, I noticed that the origami fish mobile hanging from the ceiling above the modem was very dusty.
Noticing its condition was an opportunity to give it some love. I went to the kitchen to fetch a cloth and a step stool and took a few minutes to clean off the dust.
Becoming aware of how things are in the present moment is an opportunity to shine the light of love someplace that needs it: perhaps your body or whatever story is running through your mind. You might allow an area that’s holding tension to release or remember that you don’t have to believe the thoughts and stories. Or you might reach down and pick up from the floor the paper clip you’ve walked past how many times?
While waiting for the modem to reboot and for my laptop to restart, I felt my feet planted firmly on the floor and noticed my body breathing. I felt peaceful and noticed the sensations of peace in my body. That’s all it takes, and it can happen in any moment. All you need to do is remember that Presence is an option.
One beautiful lesson I’ve learned from my mindfulness meditation practice is that times of waiting are exquisite invitations to return to Presence. After taking that sacred pause – which might only be three deep breaths – you can return to whatever it was you were dealing with, with more awareness and serenity. In the space of a pause, you might even see it in a different way.
And that is exactly the point of the picture I was about to share online, of a dried out hydrangea I found on the ground during a walk. Pausing for presence allowed me to see it in a different light. Pausing for presence again as the sun rose over the river the next morning brought the hydrangea to mind. Then I composed an image that felt simple yet satisfying.
© 2021 Susan Meyer. All rights reserved. You are welcome to share this post or excerpts of it as long as you give proper credit to Susan Meyer and SusanTaraMeyer.com. Susan Meyer is a photographer, writer, and spiritual teacher who lives on the Hudson River in Upstate New York.