Today, I wanted to take my book and disappear up a tree, to draw and watch the world through the eyes of the people passing below.
I didn’t get quite that far: nervous about being judged for climbing in a skirt, I instead planted myself on a bench between two magnolia trees. The thought entered my mind to choose one of these trees to climb, to be quick about it, and to not wait for prying eyes to notice my ascendance.
I decided against it this time however, finding that I didn’t mind a spot where my feet were flush with the ground. It was a beautiful day, and intuitively I knew, if I was still and patient, the world and I would open up to one another.
I was not disappointed.
The first thing to catch my eye was a yellowed leaf fallen from the magnolia tree in front of me. It hung from an imperceptibly thin spider’s thread – or perhaps nothing at all – and floated on its tether in the warm summer breeze. It was spellbinding to watch and it delighted me to know that a weather vane constructed by some mischievous fae was present to let me know – at any given moment – which way the breeze had turned.
The wind that guided me to this very bench, that made the world shimmer, captured so simply before me.
I watched as two squirrels jumped down from their respective trees, leapt and bound through the recently cut grass, and begin to fight. A sparrow quietly dipped down from a branch and plucked a worm from the ground, so seamlessly that neither the worm nor I knew what had transpired until the bird had returned safely to her branch. White and orange moths, June bugs, and fruit flies flitted about, humming along without a thought given to my presence.
I happened to look down at my feet – a prickle of awareness dotting my toes – to find that my sandals had interrupted a line of ants marching with bits of food and, I imagined, information. I immediately lifted my foot and watched as the line – which had dispersed into a disorderly assembly – reformed itself with each meeting of two ants along the original path.
Today was one of the most peaceful, mindful mornings I have had in a while. And as I watched the wild that inhabited the small city park unearth itself around me, the soccer and baseball games, the passing cars, and the few people walking around the perimeter of the park all faded into the background. It was almost as if the grass and the squirrels and birds all knew I had come with a purpose I had not fulfilled.
It was almost as if they meant to say, by unveiling their presence to me, that should I give into the desire to hoist myself onto a tree’s branches and veil myself behind its many leaves, that I was welcome here.
And that is all I could have ever asked for. ♦