Walking the dog, 6.30am, the sun has risen but it’s cold and windy. We avoid the deep puddles, evidence of rainfall during the darker morning hours.
For a while I wander with my preoccupied mind…events from work, conversations, emails… plans for today, tomorrow, what will I cook, what I mustn’t forget to buy…weighing up whether or not to visit my sister, my daughter, my mum, my son on the weekend, when can I possibly fit them all in…pondering bigger plans for the future, like teaching yoga again, how might it develop and how much energy should I give to this growing thought, is it just another entertaining fantasy that’s providing temporary excitement for my creative impulse?
A gust of wind wakes me up.
Here I am right now, two streets away from home. Buffy lifts her face up from sniffing, she faces into the wind and it blows the long fur back from her cute face. I can tell she is trying to identify all the different scents carried by the wind that are entering her nostrils. What else is she sensing, braced motionless into the wind?
I am propelled into the Now. I share her excitement of wild wind in my face. I notice the direction it comes from, the fluctuating temperature that ebbs and flows with the gusts. I look around and notice the quality of the cloudy morning, the dull light, the thick blanket of moving cloud, the blossom buds on the trees and bushes waiting expectantly for the first warm day of spring.
And I hear birds, four, five, maybe six different birdsongs, a harmonic patchwork of sounds and frequencies, secret bird conversations across the canopy of trees.
For a moment my somatic vision expands to include the landscape beneath the suburbs. This road isn’t flat. The plains upon which these suburbs were built gently undulate and rise towards the cluster of foggy hills in the east where I often climb to look down on the city panorama.
I look down now. Beneath the concrete ground is a million years of history. Before there were streets, this was all wild, natural bushland. I feel a shift. Time collapses. I sense the Aborigines around me. This is their land. They are still here in spirit and their presence is not restricted by time. I am wide awake in a multi-dimensional space where the past is contained within the present.
Being fully present for one absolute moment is a beautiful experience.
Being continually present as a way of living takes a lifetime of practice.
Being present is a direct connection into a pure realm of reality, unclouded by thought and judgement. Poised on the edge of this deep immersion I feel sensual, earthy, honest, natural and profoundly connected to the past and present unfolding around me and the magnificent space that holds it all.
Buffy hesitates then stops – she’s reached the edge of her known territory and abruptly turns toward home, retracing her route without stopping to sniff. I follow, jogging a little to match her pace. She makes me smile. I am so grateful that God created dogs and for my funny, perky, stubborn, intense, loving, playful, obsessive, loyal, cheeky, soulful little four-legged furry companion, who takes me out walking at sunrise every day and who constantly reminds me that I too am both a simple and complex creature of this earth.