Housework to do. Errands to run. Posts to edit. Weariness and fretting over the oil spill in the Gulf. Much to do. I really had no business putting about in the yard and taking the time to just sit on the wooden swing and be still. But I'm glad I did.
It's a beautiful, sunshiny day, bare wisps of clouds hang high in the bright blue sky and it's actually momentarily cool, at least on my swing in the shade, thanks to a pleasant breeze that brushes by every couple of minutes. It is unusually quiet today in this cluttered, suburban neighborhood, barely an invasion of sound, save for the occasional passing of a vehicle, and at least for the moment, there are no bugs nipping at me.
I swing, with the puppy on the seat beside me, and take notice of my immediate surroundings. How the grass is greening up and finally overtaking the weeds. The banana trees are sprouting all sorts of babies from their roots. My Mother's Day daylily is still giving me blooms. The butterfly bush is about to burst with pretty purple flowers, the Asian lilies have just started to flower and the little lantana bouquets are making a show. The hydrangeas are flaunting their pinks, blues and purples, and the gardenias, just beginning to bloom, emit their strong and beautiful fragrance inside the breeze. Even the elephant ears are finally bursting from the ground.
Soon a butterfly flutters by. A large bird flies high above me, in the space between the trees, stretching his massive wings and just floating across the sky. The songs of half a dozen birds are all around me and a finch lands briefly on the feeder. A red headed woodpecker flies in onto the oak tree just across from me hopping up the trunk of the tree. A squirrel stalks across on the other side of the yard in search of acorns. A dragonfly zooms by. A lizard crawls nearby. A tiny grasshopper jumps at my feet.
My thoughts abruptly trace back to days at the office not so long ago - where I would have typically been on a day just like this, right in this moment in time. While there are fond memories of those days, these that have invaded this tranquil moment are not. Black thoughts of office politics. Corporate transitions, takeovers, mergers and people in a constant state of worry over their jobs. Backstabbing. Cliques. 20% of the people doing 80% of the work while others seem to just do the bare minimum to collect the paycheck and nothing more. Far too many deadlines. Far too much work. High stress. A tyrant boss. A complete contrast from this moment. I do not miss any of that, so why in the world did that enter my mind?
Maybe to remind me to stop. To pay attention. To listen. To take joy and pleasure in the beauty God has given to us. To be grateful for where I am in this moment in time. And to stop on occasion and smell the gardenias.