"Let me tell you a tale of a girl who did't stop. Who climbed every mountain without a pause on top. She'd dance until each blade of grass was clothed in drops of dew and the sun knew her name but the moon did too. For a fear had settled in her bones. A fear of sitting still, that if you are not moving forward it must mean you never will. So in time her dance got slower and she looked at all she'd seen, but found gaps inside the places that she'd never fully been. For she was human doing, human moving, human seeing, but she never had taken the time to simply be a human being."
I was 24 years old, engaged to be married and working at a ranch outside Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I remember feeling that this should be the happiest time in my life, but for some reason I was terrified. I was fearful of the unknown. Where would we live? Where would we work? What would happen next? Was this my time to settle down in one place? I had moved to 5 different states since moving out of my parents house at age 18. My friends called me the gypsy. I loved to move, I loved to see, I loved to go and do anything that was in front of me, but something was different this time.
There was a mountain behind the ranch where we worked. I hiked this mountain for 2-3 hours and it became part of my daily routine. One day as I reached the top I decided to sit, as opposed to running straight down. I knew nothing about mediation but there was a tree that drew me in and invited me to sit. I closed my eyes. I slowly took a few deep breaths. I listened to the birds chirping. I smelled the sweet scent of pine. I felt the cool mountain wind upon my face. My troubles seemed to fade away, at least for the next 30 minutes that I sat.
12 years later, I found myself back in Shreveport with my husband, 2 kids and many animals. Over those past 12 years I found a meditation practice that emerged from the one time I decided to sit still. I know that the more I sit, the more present I become, and the more present I am the more content I am with my life. This keeps me coming back to my meditation cushion each morning. I find that I look forward to waking up to breathe, to meditate, to pray, and to find time to discover the beauty of each day even if it is only for a few minutes. Each day brings it's own joys and its own challenges but finding a place of peace, of quiet, and of stillness brings life back into perspective. I often go back to the mountain, to the tree, to the birds, to the wind, and the smell in my mind's eye and I know that God has a plan for me. For if I sit still for long enough I may be able to listen to the gentle nudges of my soul. Meditation is not always easy, but it is a lifelong journey and one I look forward to what each new day will bring.
"Every day may not be good but there is something good in every day"-Alice Morse Earle