Metaphor and Meditation

A WILD YEAR IN THE OHIO WOODLANDS – DAY 2

Crazy as it seems, I’m sick a-g-a-i-n.  Trying not to blame myself for not noticing the many blatantly obvious signs of impending sickdom.  The signs telling me, “slow down, or else!”  I think my main life lesson this go round is BALANCE.  Yes, in capital letters.

Often I tell myself, subconsciously, that because I’m an Herbalist, I’m immune from illness.  Ha ha ha, so laughable and ironic.  I believe many Herbalists sought out this line of work because we’d beaten ourselves so badly through overwork, overindulgence, and basic lack of self-nurturing, we hit that rock bottom place.  We didn’t want to feel this way anymore, so we took action, took our healing into our own hands.

Today, on the second day of this project, it was hard to get out into the woods.  All my body felt like doing on this sick rainy day was lying in bed.  But I had a goal, and to wimp out on the second day just wouldn’t do.  Plus, getting the ick in my lungs moving was probably a good idea.  So I pulled on my flowered rain boots, my raincoat, strapped on my camera, and headed out.

Within about a minute of getting outside, I knew I had made the right decision.  There’s something about being outside and breathing (somewhat) fresh air that can lighten my mood on the gloomiest of days.  One of the first thoughts I had was how nature really can be an amazing metaphor for life.

So the light was low and I haven’t totally gotten the hang of my new borrowed camera (thanks, Sis) yet.  I was hoping to catch the ripples in the puddles, but maybe you can kind of make them out.

okay, just imagine them

Metaphor #1:

I thought about how life is like the ripple effect.  We make one little change in an effort to make our lives better and it ripples out, through our lives, other peoples lives, and the world.  Just like this project.  It will get me outside, which will relieve my stress, give me more exercise and playtime, and keep me connected to the natural world.  Hopefully it will inspire someone else to get outside, even on a rainy day, and connect to nature, which will create an appreciation and a value for it.  Then, maybe they’ll go out to inspire someone else, and it will be one more step toward creating a healthy world.

It’s like this one morning that sticks out in my head.  I was rushing to the post office before work on a relatively average day.  There was a man standing next to the mailbox.  For seemingly no reason, he said hello and asked how I was.  Then he smiled and said something like, “I hope you have a fantastic day.”  I was touched by the random kindness of this stranger and passed that smile to other people throughout my day, who maybe passed it to others.

Metaphor #2:

I have laryngitis.  I love to talk, and joke, and even sing.  This has been hard.  It has forced me to be quiet and I’m learning silence really is golden.  Because when you’re silent, you have to slow down.  Another one of my goals for the year is to practice meditation.  The technique that I’m studying talks about first being present to all of your senses, including really listening.  As I walked into the woods, I listened to the falling rain, my footsteps, and the quiet all around me and my mind slowed.  In the woods, slow and quiet is a way of life (literally).

Metaphor #3:

Everything is wet!  The way the raindrops gently hang there on the edge of the new twigs and buds, the way the water flows.  It is the definition of rebirth.  That feeling of rebirth is palpable to all of us, especially me on this day after my birth(day).  I think we all get a little woowoo thinking about how we can remake our lives this year.  What an opportunity!

Metaphor #4:

Some really nice person, knowing how ridiculously slushy this trail gets, made a walking path through the mud out of bark.  This must have taken some time, energy, and thought.  Whether they knew doing this would help others make it through or not, they did it.  And this is how it is with me.  This new year of my life, one of my main resolutions is to really truly love myself.  Part of that lesson is really truly believing I’m loved and supported by others, that I’m taken care of and never alone.  And it’s always shown to me in the least expected ways and times.

As I sign off, I’m challenging you to get outside and look for the metaphors all around you.  Then come back here and leave me a comment about it!

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