I woke up this morning feeling strange, and not an odd-but-interesting kind of strange. The thinkythoughts-noise rattling around my brain on this post-debate morning were tugging me so many different directions (and rightly so–there is a heck of a lot to ponder) and with the added help of stress, allergies and not having taken the greatest care of myself in the last days, I trudged through the first hours of the day in a funk.
I drove to a nearby park to get some writing done but before I realized what I was doing, I was parked, off the path, standing calf-deep in dewy grass (yes, I checked for ticks afterward, lol). Then I was walking through said grass towards a little swathe of prairie conservation. The ground beneath my shoes was spongy, monarch butterflies rose and fell on the lazy breeze, flowers nodded a-rhythmically, and a humming buzz of bumblebees blended into the noises of cars, wind, my own breathing. I just stood there for I don’t even know how long. I don’t think I had a thought in my head until I heard the whoosh of a bicyclist close behind me and startled back into the moment. I blinked and realized that the air smelled like cinnamon, probably because of the prairie grass–that I got no writing done, and didn’t care. That the sun was warm but the air chilly. That my shoes were sparkly with moisture that looked like little jewels. That here in this moment, my heart beat with insistence, reminding me that I live and breathe and think and feel.
I-live, I-live, I-live…
It might be trite to talk about smelling the roses, about taking time to look around and see the moment exactly as it is. It might be reductive, when the world feels like it is spinning out of all control and goodness and sense, to say, grind your feet a little deeper into that mud–really feel the concrete or sand or grass or pebbles beneath your soles, get to know the skin of the world you inhabit. To absorb its sights, its scents–to remind yourself that you live among its creatures, part of a complex ecosystem. That you live, period.
Boot to earth, eyes to sky. Amanda to Earth. My home. To quote Carl Sagan, who said what I want to say better than I could, this world is where “…everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there—on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.”
Sometimes, a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam is beautiful. Sometimes, I need to remember this.