It is a spring day of which poets write and painters paint but my mind is all a jumble as thoughts tumble, each more urgent than the last. My body has joined the revolt, sending one pain message after another. This mind-body battle means it is a perfect day to take myself off to Waverly.
It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles.
~ Buddha ~
No matter how many times I visit Waverly, it whispers to me, sometimes to remind and other times to reveal. Regardless, a breath here is less ragged with frustration. The mind-body battle is still present but now resides at the edge of my awareness as if the stillness of Waverly is all-pervasive.
Waverly offers something for each of my senses. With the focus of a juggler tossing each ball high enough so that the others remain in the air, I take in one view completely before leaving it for another. In a moment’s stance, the mind-body is absorbed otherwise.
Standing at the edge of the circle of live oaks whose branches intertwine into a year-round canopy of shade, Waverly as park and pond is mine to survey. I will not walk the park and pond today but I decide to try to make my way to the bench on the bridge that crosses the pond.
My steps are deliberate, almost mindful, as my right knee wobbles. My focus shifts to the pain in my shin and then to my calf and back up my thigh into my hip. I take in what I have come to know as a “pain breath,” which gives me a way to communicate with it.
Sometimes, the pain will release but this is not one of those times. Again, I assume the juggler’s focus, tossing the pain as high and as far away as I can, knowing it will come round again but I have made it to the bridge.
Waverly has never seemed so vibrant. I have lost count of the times that thought has come to me as Waverly’s purity of color and panorama of life stun. This is a world not shy about life.
There is tightness in my lower back but this time it releases simultaneously with my noticing parent geese and their two, yellow-brown goslings in full down just at the edge of the other side of the bridge.
I will not disturb you is the only thought of which I am aware as I quietly open my camera. The sun is behind me so all I can do is aim and hope that the goose family is somewhere in one of the shots but regardless, my mind’s eye has this one.
In my three years of visiting Waverly, these are the first goslings I have seen. My entire mind-body watches with a focus that had seemed impossible moments earlier. This has been a spring of uncertainty.
The red-shouldered hawk also decides to watch from atop the light post, perhaps to watch for a failure in focus, perhaps not. The parent geese are ever alert while the goslings are otherwise engaged yet in this moment, the world is theirs. They do not dawdle in their gusto of being alive.
As a human, I am easily snagged by the “what if” of drama but in the natural world, life is lived as it comes. Each moment is so precious, so all-consuming that it cannot possibly be anything but enough.
I rub my right leg in gratitude for each sensation it sends, as my mind opens to being rather than to battle. Such is possible with each breath, this being in life as it is. How it dazzles.