Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘being

My Being

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I stood alone
among the trees on the hill
just outside the house
in the cold
for a moment
to look and listen
the great outdoors never disappoints
there is no fight for recognition
things just are
smoky wafts of breath rise with every exhale
resounding quiet slowly begins to yield tiny sounds
a titmouse
finch or sparrow
pecking the skin
of a nearby tree
a squirrel
moves in fits and starts
along a route
obviously used many times before
a breeze
rolls a crispy brown leaf
across the top crust of old snow
my being here
motionless
on a winter Sunday
has little influence on these woods
yet the land
the trees
animals
and breeze
imbue a universe of energies
that inspire
my being

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Written by johnwhays

December 30, 2018 at 8:15 am

Great Indoors

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You know the saying. It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity. I don’t know what phenomena might be pushing the local dew point temperatures to extremely tropical levels, but it is driving our heat index into the triple digits again. I’m not a fan.

At the same time, I really don’t have much to gripe about. The workplace indoor temperatures are air-conditioned down to a level that keeps my arms cold all day in a short-sleeved shirt. From there, I step out to my car and turn on the AC for the long drive home. Our house is perfectly comfortable with the geothermal system making great use of that constant underground temperature in the upper 50s(F).

Of course, this works because I’m done with the time sensitive chores outside, enabling me to pick and choose whether I’ll go out and deal with the immediate elements, or avoid them.

It makes it difficult to pay true attention to the present moment. I’m off in some other world, down a maze of insignificant Reddit posts like hatted cats pawing attention-getting bells to trigger repeated delivery of a treat, or highlight videos of soccer players tangling for a header where one uprights the other and then guides his flip to a full rotation that lands the opponent upright again before ever crashing to the ground.

Cute, but basically mindless, compared with what is available in and around the space where I’m breathing.

Yesterday evening, I was describing my June week of biking and camping to a visitor and reminded myself of how in-the-moment that activity can be. We are out in the elements all day, sleeping on the ground in tents all night. Breathing the air, inhaling the scents, hearing the birds and freight trains.

We notice everything about the wind.

When I’m not biking, I pay no attention to what direction the wind is blowing. Why do I neglect to notice?

My habit of not truly being fully present in a moment allows for obliviousness to that kind of detail. My mind can wander to expectations of watching the World Cup final on Sunday, or mulling over imagined reasons why our 4 acres of hay-field have yet to be cut by the neighbor who, back in the beginning of June, volunteered so to do.

In my comfortable car during the long commute, lately I’ve been listening to deep cuts from my library of music, allowing it to carry me off to distant rekindled memories or fantasies of mastering my own version of various enticing songs.

I’m thankful I don’t have to be out in the heat, but at the same time, I regret how my avoidance accommodates a distancing from the realities of the present moment.

I take some solace in having just sweated through every layer of several sets of grubby clothes over the recent three days of heaving hundreds of hay bales. We were reasonably enmeshed in the moment for those hours of each day.

There is some balance there… and, always an opportunity to strive for better attention to the immediate pleasures of the artificial environment of a comfortably conditioned “great indoors.”

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Lazy Day

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I don’t drink alcohol, so I’m guessing my hangover yesterday was from the excessive consumption of calories. The day was uncharacteristically warm, so I nudged myself out the door in hopes of accomplishing some grand feat of property management.

The project requiring the least amount of mental or physical preparation awaits just a short distance beyond our bedroom window. I look at it almost every day, but it has been behind schedule for quite some time. I would like to have the wood shed filled by now, but it is barely over halfway.

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I was out there only a minute or two when the chickens popped in to join me. The climbing sun had me quickly down to a short-sleeved T-shirt while I split and stacked firewood. It was wonderfully satisfying… for about 30 minutes.

Maybe my precarious lumbar discs were a convenient excuse to take a break, but the truth is, it was the whole of me that felt out of gas.

As I pondered the situation while gliding back and forth on the double swing, the view of our horses in the sunshine of the pasture captured my attention.

When all else fails, standing among the horses is one of my favorite options. Joining the horses when I have no agenda other than being with them is so very different from visits to care for them or invite their cooperation for some task. They have total control on what happens, whether they choose to include me, or not.

I wasn’t there very long when my phone rang. Cyndie was wondering where I was and gladly chose to join me in a session of weather worship in the paddock with the herd.

In short order, with the chickens joining the party, we were all quietly communing in the spectacularly lazy November sunshine.

When I first arrived, the horses were actually spread far and wide. Cayenne was out in the front hay-field, Hunter and Dezirea were spread far apart in the middle field, and Legacy was in the middle of the paddock, eyeing the waterer.

As it became increasingly evident I was just hanging around with no agenda, the horses began to migrate back to the paddock, taking turns to greet me as they arrived.

The top of the slope, with the barn for a backdrop, is a prime spot to soak up midday sun. I noticed the two mares had positioned themselves precisely to sneak in a little nap with full broadside exposure to soak up the solar energy without blocking each other.

That was the kind of day my body was up for yesterday.

Filling the wood shed is going to happen in stages this season, it seems.

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Written by johnwhays

November 25, 2017 at 10:31 am