It's five days in to Monk in the World, and yes, I am posting on day four... I missed what feels pretty much like an entire day of my life yesterday to some very hard-hitting crud. I didn't even wake up until almost three and never really did feel like I was totally functional. At some point I turned the computer on, but never made it to the e-mails or the blog. Today is a little better. It's only slightly past noon and I am up and have taken nourishment....that seems to be staying put!
The day 4 theme is Nature, and in the practice section, Christine says, "Claiming our inner monk means remembering that we are the children of the earth, and the earth is in our bodies. Allow the trees and birds to offer you their own wisdom about living a monastic life." She reminds us to slow down and notice the natural world, the trees, the beauty of the earth and all of creation. R and I went on another of our road trips this weekend. This was a quick motor "up North" and back to attend a family wedding. He is particularly good at noticing things about the countryside as we drive through....which of the crops are ready to harvest, who is plowing rather than just letting a harvested field lie. He also sees the birds I miss, and he knows things about why things happen as they do in the fields we pass. Because of this, and because we are spending more time in the car, I am more aware of all that is out there....how much color and texture and variety in just one passing scene, how the light falls differently on the golden corn than it did just a few short weeks ago when the sun was higher and the crops it shone on green.
Who thought taking a road trip could be part of a monastic practice? But of course it can...any moment can. It's all about remembering to pay attention, and being more intentional about really seeing what is there. That is my "aha" moment for today. Today my body is forcing me to be slowed down, to take things easy. It's a luxury to have time to sit, to read, to just be. The sun is shining on a tree that is starting to turn and the colors of the leaves are amazing. Maggie the Peke is resting happily in the sun with her friend MomCat, and it's very sweet and peaceful just to be here, hanging out, getting well.