This morning, I noticed a bird floating on the wind, exerting almost no energy, turning its torso this way and that, like a paraglider, while foraging the ground below for its breakfast. He had harnessed the wind, which is so unsettling to me, and used it to lift and empower him. He wasn’t moving forward, or backwards, but in hovering he was doing all he needed to do to thrive.
I stopped, admiring his effortless grace, his hovering. I hate the wind. I fight it and it always wins.
I thought of my life when I was working. I was constantly blown about by the business of my day. Phone calls. Emails, hundreds in a day. Meetings here, meetings there. My friends, my loves, my self, were afterthoughts, or pushed to the weekend to be nurtured in between chores, groceries and errands.
Now, my life is quiet. Almost too quiet, like I, too, am just hovering. No one demands my time, or attention. My emails are down to a trickle, my phone goes for hours without ringing.
Sometimes, a wave of panic comes over me. What am I doing? What am I making? What have I accomplished? Do I still matter??
But it doesn’t last too long.
Now, when my phone rings, it is invariably a friend. And when they ask, ”Got a minute?” I can honestly say, “I have all the time in the world.” I can sit down and talk, really talk, and listen like I never could before. I have time. I can dig out watercolors, or the outline for my juicy, tell-all novel about advertising. I can cook something that Rachel Ray wouldn’t, something that requires simmering and roasting for hours in a slow oven. I can (gasp) take a nap. I can read. Think. Pray. Wonder.
It is funny what quiet does for you. The life that used to hit me head on, now simply lifts, and gently carries me along. It is so much more peaceful now. I suspect that in time, I will begin to fill the hours with meetings and obligations, or go mad with the sound of silence, in the same way I can melt into a massage and give over to the relaxation for just so long, before needing to get up, stretch and jump in a cool shower.
But for now, there are days like today. Where I can just think. And be.
And stop and watch a bird ride the wind in a way I had never seen before.