Spring arrived this year in fits and starts. Just when I’m ready to slap on the sunscreen and put away my winter sweaters, the rain comes back. This uncertainty, this instability, has been getting to me.
And last week I was feeling stuck. I was thinking about what to say to a close friend who was just diagnosed with breast cancer; thinking of what I could say to a friend with a recurrence; I was thinking of my daughter, who got her feelings hurt so badly that I thought my heart would break inside my chest. Basically, I was feeling emotionally paralyzed. Waiting for something to happen, for the words to come. Frustrated by the wait.
I decided to go outside and pull some weeds and throw the ball for the dog just so I could do something. Still restless, I pulled on a weed and looked up to swat away a fly. And I glimpsed the sky, a view I had never seen from that angle. The dog had given up the chase and sat down on the lawn. So I put down my trowel and lay down on the grass next to him. I have not sprawled on the grass and just stared at the nothingness in a very long time.
It was unexpected, the joy that came from seeing our tree from another viewpoint, to appreciate the budding leaves in a new way, to listen to the hum of the bees in the rosemary bush. To take in the blue sky, watch the wispy white clouds. It was taking a moment, to look at things with fresh eyes. I stayed there for about ten minutes, upside down and inside out, and that was exactly what I needed. The fly buzzed over my face and I got up, feeling maybe 5 percent less anxious and impatient than before. I’ll take the 5 percent.
Even if you don’t have a yard, a tree, or anything like that or you simply prefer a statuesque skyscraper to calm your nerves instead, look up. Look up and take it all in; take a look from a different angle. It might just give you the space, the moment, to turn it all around. It might just give you 5 percent, which is 5 percent more than you had a few minutes ago.