I walk just about daily because movement is good for me, not in the eat-your-brussels-sprouts-they're-good-for-you way or I-met-a-goal way. I walk most mornings because I feel internally satisfied when I do whether I'm sweating profusely as has ensued this summer or bundled in three layers as happens often in winter.
Yesterday early on while walking, I realized my satisfaction has more to do with being present. Yes, even though sweat stings as it runs into my eyes and there's not a dry stitch on me, I enjoy walking because I am present rather than just wishing my walk complete.
Thank to presence, I am a Noticer. Twice lately as I've pondered how I've not seen many dead birds this Spring, I have come upon a young dead bird each time. I've blessed each as I held it before placing them under a nearby shrubs.
It's common for me to notice the stuff of man's making that ends up as trash on the roadside. If I can joyfully pick up the trash (without resentment or judgement), I usually do. Oftentimes the odd assortment of rubbish becomes the stuff of a story.
The manmade held a message yesterday mid-way down West Linden. I came upon something unusual and potentially hazardous scattered near a driveway. As I bent down to pick up the assortment of hardware, a thought zipped through my mind...
'Pay attention to the nuts and bolts of your life.'
'That was definitely interesting,' I thought, as I placed the hardware on top of a nearby water meter by the homeowner's mailbox.
I turned the corner a couple of houses down the street and there were more nuts and bolts scattered this time in the middle of the street. I'm guilty of not paying serious attention to the messages I receive so this time I picked up the assortment and kept them. Maybe I needed a literal reminder to pay attention and really consider the nuts and bolts of my day.
I turned left at the next street and within a couple of houses there they were, nuts and bolts, scattered about again. I grabbed these, walked down the street and there they were yet again.
'Ok. Ok. I really got it,' I thought. I really DO need to pay attention to the nuts and bolts of my day. My hands were full when I looked up to see a cup just large enough to hold the collection. I continued walking, my cup full literally and metaphorically.
I chuckled thinking how I walked with hardware symbolic of my walking each day with "hardware" mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and energetically that I don't use to its full potential.
Every morning this week, I had experiences of which I knew I was to write. Then as soon as I began, I allowed distractions to intervene.
This morning would be different. In the ninety minutes, I had before work I would shower, get my lunch ready, then write. I would not stop to talk to the screenwriter friend I hadn't seen in years one street over who I happened to see trimming shrubs. (Failed that test.) I wouldn't stop to knock on the neighbor's door and tell them I could hear water running from the meter under their portion of the sidewalk. (Failed that test.) I wouldn't stop to talk with my elderly neighbor who often calls to me when she sees me outside. (Fortunately she wasn't out.)
But our hydrangeas were wilted and the lilies and balloon flowers needed deadheading. I placed the cup of hardware on the recycling can, turned on the hose and began. Fifteen minutes later I finished but not before wishing the Miata were in the drive. I'd rinse it since we're trying to sell it.
I showered, ate, and sat down to write just as three work-related calls I was awaiting came in one after the other. Twenty minutes remained of the initial 90 I had and I wrote nothing in that twenty minutes.
This is how my entire morning can unfold when I shift focus and loose energy.
The nuts and bolts of my day are varied. Visiting neighbors, tending the yard, answering a text or checking Facebook aren't negative unless I allow them to derail me from what I know in that moment is to be my focus. When that occurs, which is all too often, I am not honoring my time nor my soul's calling.
For me the most important nuts and bolts of my day are the parts and pieces of my life that I know and sense I am to value, but my actions don't value .... like the four written pieces I began this week. Honestly I only wrote the beginnings of the beginnings before allowing other things to intervene.
So today as evening drew near, I felt compelled to feed the birds and refill the bird baths before ending this piece. I tuned in to ensure I wasn't distracting myself and headed out with seed in hand. My breath was taken by a hairless baby bird by the chair where I usually sit.
I scooped it up and sat outside humming my gratitude and sorrow to it until its eyes closed.
This was not a distraction for in one crystal clear moment I knew this dear creature whose earth journey was maybe all of one week was providing the most important piece to this story.
What matters most about the nuts and bolts of my day (and therefore my life) as I walk through it is I am aligned with the love that's inside me whatever I'm doing at any given moment. That's really all that matters. If I am aligned with the love that lives in me, I will then hold the stories that come through me with the same tenderness and devotion that I hold this baby bird.
So I leave you with this: What really are the important nuts and bolts in your life? How committed are you to them?
-Dawn, The Good News Muse 24 June 2016