I saw a red bird and a blue bird from my seat in the woods. Exploring a new trail led me to that moment. With patient silence, I watched and listened. The voices of the birds grew louder, their Summer dance more evident. Thank you for that moment.
The parallels between noticing the beauty of the birds and the beauty of my children’s first day of school (3rd, 9th, 10th), rushed into my heart. I could see the beauty of my children’s dance; flights of independent freedom, balanced with returns to safety. I could feel my own balance of emotion; joy in their growth, yet nostalgia for our journey together thus far.
Learning to release is not an easy task, but I reminded myself that nothing is really mine. I am their mother and they are my children, yes. Yet, we do not possess each other. We share love, time and wisdom. Remembering that, peace rushed in.
Continuing my run, I switched to a trail marked with yellow blazes. I noticed how green my surroundings were. From the forest floor all the way to the canopy, dense green vegetation encompassed me. It felt safe, like I was cloaked and held gently.
As I was feeling perfect contentment, a colorful scene came into view. Prayer flags blowing in the breeze alerted me to an altar I had never seen before. It had been thoughtfully created and was being shared with anyone who happened to pass by while on their own way. It was another treasure, or opportunity for pause. I sat down. Sweat dripped, insects buzzed. Both gifts for practicing stillness. Then it was time to continue. Down the trail towards the sea.
The dirt path gave way to sand, the blue jay and cardinal to the sea-gull, and the trees to giant rocks. I found a spot towards a curve in the shore. Here was a quiet cove. The waves lapped over the smooth stones and a salty breeze tickled my face. I stretched towards the sun soaking up its warmth all the way from my fingertips to my toes. I sat down and closed my eyes for the third time of the run.
“Peace, joy, love-ahhhh.” The phone rang. Cross country practice ended. The phone rang again, another child didn’t feel good about riding the bus. Time to transition, quickly. Sprinting to the car, I practiced remembering “peace, joy, love.” It’s always there.