25 spare minutes in between morning-relaxing-time and shower-errand-movie-time and rather than supplementing my earlier breakfast with a bit more nourishment (ee-gads, woman, just say, “having a snack”) I’m here to write. Nothing in particular to say. But still, it feels important to at least post weekly.
I can’t get over the way that some days & weeks life feels so drudgingly bloody difficult, and some days & weeks life feels fine–filled with abundant goodness. I suspect the difference between those times is mostly due to swaying body chemistry. I’ve never taken prescription mood altering drugs but (breathing deeply) I’m not one to underestimate the mind body connection.
Last weekend, Andy and I were walking to breakfast. I had gotten myself into a state of irritability & anxiety and was starting to bring him down with me. He asked me to check my mood (that’s my phrase, not his). And it was like a muscle flexing: I snapped into the here and now. I paid attention to what I saw. In that moment, what I saw happened to be a rose bush, one I pass several times a week.
They’re never the same, you know. Blossoms constantly fading, new buds opening. Every flower gets one life. When I’m paying attention, I see the new ones and think, Thank you thank you for gracing me with your sweetness.
That reminds me of passing by some roses on the same street (the same bush?) when we invaded Baghdad seven years ago. It occurred to me then that flowers are usually a luxury of peace. Gardening happens when people feel safe enough to go outside, when people have water to spare. Recalling this prompted me just now to google the words, “Iraq flowers”. I found a 2009 article highlighting Baghdad, Flowers and Peace. What a comforting answer to my thoughts.
So where was I? Last weekend, it happened. I took a moment to really see the blossoms and trees as we walked by. And then I took another moment. And I kept seeing what I saw and it was mostly really good. My anxiety left. I calmed down. Although at that hour – 9am-ish on a Sunday, the only pedestrians besides us were our unbathed neighbors who sleep in hidden places (some not so hidden) and it reminded me of my post from a few weeks ago. The one where I declared that I was happy to live in a location that offered a daily reminder of those suffering from poverty. Yeah. I was feeling a little too optimistic when I wrote that post.
Nonetheless, walking and seeing snapped my mood back into place. I think it usually does when there are no external irritants.
Look at this tree. It’s where our alley meets the cross street. This photo makes me smile.