Rest Is In My Breath

One of my favourite things is the scent of fresh laundered sheets with a hint of bleach and outdoor sunshine lingering on the threads. One of my least favourite things to do is crawl out of a cozy bed to a dark, cold morning. Especially since lately I have been having trouble sleeping.

I love to cradle a hot cup of tea between both hands, savoring a rich blend of Chai spices flaring my nostrils. But I hate hot liquid burning my tongue. Often I choose to guzzle the tepid drink later because it sat forgotten beside my computer screen.

This morning I sat in quiet but not stillness. My body didn’t move, I didn’t fidget, and my hands remained relaxed in my lap. But my mind refused to settle. Thoughts galloped behind my eyes. Before the apocalypse many small bookstores struggled. Since social distancing became mainstream, they have gone silent. I hope they will last until after. After. After we are allowed to be close to one another again. After the locks are opened and we can breathe a little easier. After we can go to the dentist, the hair dresser, the post office, linger with a fresh off the press new book in hand.

These thoughts defy the will to rest, to simply be. They demand attention, they want to be seen and heard. So for thirty minutes I do battle. When it’s over I realize I had thirty minutes of tending to passing thoughts. I’m not sure if that would qualify as meditation but it meant thirty minutes without really thinking about Covid-19 and the corona virus. I didn’t solve the issue of what will happen to my beloved independent bookstores, but the distractions and outside “noise” did provide thirty minutes of welcome rest.

Tai Chi Papa

Tai-Chi-Meditation-Form

(internet photo)
Tai Chi papa
unfolds on a riverbank.
Black pants, brown jacket
weathered limbs beneath,
naked grace flows smooth.
River remains calm,
city rush
stalls.
Ancient art
soothes nerves
with raw deliberation.

Silence and Stillness

I sit outside
on a weather worn park bench
beneath a fragrant cherry tree.
Deep pink blossoms
punch a bright statement
of their presence
to the surrounding burgeoning
trees and shrubs.

With legs outstretched
on fresh green spring grass,
arms crossed below my chest,
I tilt my head toward the sun
and close my eyes.

Silence.

A cool breeze blows my hair
across my face and drops
cherry blossom kisses upon me.
Stillness follows styling
my hair abruptly in a abstract
modern art form,
casually dishevelled.

Stillness and silence;
agents sent to calm my occupied
mind, a prisoner of my own
thoughts, captive of racing
ideas and procrastination –
no focus;
Peacekeepers sent to mediate
warring factions of my
right and left brain.
Yellow sticky-note lists
battle for priority against
stacks of paper clutter and
baskets of laundry.

Birdsong can be heard.
Laughter of children, squealing
as they chase and dodge each
other. The clink of a dog
collar as it passes near.

I drift on a cherry blossom
into words of an unknown future.
I drift on the breeze like a
prayer rising to heaven,
a petition piggy-backing the
promise of spring bursting
with color and fragrance from
a dormant winter.
I drift…

And when I return,
silence and stillness remain
continuing their mediation.
My world has not changed
but my heart feels lighter
as I shake cherry blossom
petals from my hair.