Several years ago I broke my leg. As I would be laid up for several weeks, my husband set up a daybed in the backroom so that I could look out the patio door window. The window opens to a football-field-size backyard canopied by a small forest of old-growth trees beyond which flows a river. A picturesque scene for me to look out upon as my leg healed, my husband told me.
I am a freelance writer, and I did attempt to do some writing, but I could not quite get my injured leg comfortable while at the computer. And the picturesque backyard scene my husband suggested I look out upon held little interest for me.
I am a person who’s always measured the success of a day by what I have accomplished. My mind always nags at me: Get the kitchen drawers organized! Start writing that new article! Confined to one room with a broken leg, I felt frustrated.
Slowly, however, my attitude began to shift. I began to enjoy sitting on the edge of the bed in that room, my braced leg sticking out over the edge. I began to appreciate the picturesque scene outside, the silence of a lazy day. I discovered anew the wonder of a family of goldfinches at the bird feeder, the calm in the gentle sway of the tree tops when a breeze came up. I spent days following clouds across the sky. I listened to the lazy drone of an airplane, the beginning of a storm brewing, then the hard patter of raindrops in the trees. At the end of the day, when the sky turned the dull yellow of late evening and the chirring of crickets came alive, I watched the pink-gold sun melt against the side window. When I was able to hobble outside on my walker, I took pleasure in the gentle touch of a dragonfly alighting on my arm, marveled at a ladybug trying to loose itself from a spider web stretched across one corner of the deck. (It succeeded.) I watched a bee tugging at a flower, a bat zigzagging in the night sky.
How many times when I was whole had I told myself I would take time to do this, I wondered? How many times had I not done so because I was always rushing from task to task and felt I couldn’t eke out the time?
Then something magical happened. As I began to rediscover the beauty and wonder of my backyard surroundings, the channels to my mind opened; I saw myself inextricably linked to the universe, to the people in it, to its wonders. I began to connect to that spiritual part of me that I’d neglected for so long. I felt absolutely at peace. And with that feeling of peace came thankfulness, gratitude for all the many things in life that I’d been blessed with, but had never taken time to fully realize. What I had initially seen as an inconvenience (my broken leg), a disruption to my busy life, I came to see as exactly the thing I needed in which to realize the joy of living in the moment and to find my spiritual self again.
After my leg healed, we left the daybed up in the backroom. I still occasionally get caught up in schedules, deadlines. But whereas I once rolled through the day like a steam engine, I have now slowed down. I take time to loiter, linger, appreciate, ruminate, embrace my spirit, do absolutely nothing except sit for a time on the side of the bed in the backroom and gaze out the patio window overlooking the backyard, attuned to thunderstorms, the chirring of crickets, or just simply enjoying the silence of a lazy day.
Barbara Weddle writes from Kentucky.© 2002 - 2021, AnswersForMe.org. All rights reserved. Click here for content usage information.