Living in New Jersey brought an unwelcome visitor last week, hurricane Sandy. No electricity, no heat, no idea when both will be returning. And, also, no tree landing on our house, a particular blessing to be grateful for.
What it has afforded us with is mindfulness in action. When creature comforts are stripped from us, complacency is gone. We are in survival mode. We are very present to what needs to be done in THIS moment, whether it is how to respond to what our body needs such as warmth or food or to be fully aware of our present surroundings. I am struck by how much more awake I am to bodily sensations that otherwise I would have glossed over and the need to take care of myself physically, in the moment, because I don’t know what the future moments may, or may not afford me. I usually can easily gloss over hunger, feeling that ” I’ll grab something later.” In this present situation, It’s important to respond to that hunger because it might be very difficult to deal with it later, in the dark, in the cold.
I’m certainly much more attuned to nature, even if there is a paranoia to it. I’m certainly looking at trees and wind differently. with a lot more interest.
I notice a sadness regarding trees. They appear to be strong and vital and healthy but when not deeply rooted, are incredibly fragile. Quite a metaphor.
Although I do notice my thoughts in forward motion, wondering when WILL the power come back on, I am much more rooted into taking care of what’s in front of me NOW. I enjoy that and notice that it keeps me calmer and my senses are more awake.
In general, we spend much less time working with what’s right in front of us and way too much time ruminating about the past or projecting into the future. Last night, I spent time watching my breath, in the moment, in my 47 degree house.