An Occasional Autumn Excitement
10:30 am -- Looking out my home office window is usually a soul soothing pleasure. Just across the creek is a line of trees that provide a home for a raccoon family, occasional beaver, and a nice variety of birds that come visit on my deck. Great blue heron have nested on the roof, and swoop down to fish, looking -- I swear -- like the return of the pterodactyl. Every other year, immodest salmon come to spawn right in front of me. It's Nature's Delight to be this close to the creek.
Except for when it floods, like it is doing today.
Normally, the excess water has over-run the banks on the far side of the creek. Seems they used to be lower on that side. Today, I'm seeing water creeping up on my side first. That little evergreen that just about 5 feet from my deck already is standing in an ankle deep puddle (if trees have ankles, I'm not sure about that).
So what a perfect moment to practice some worry taming, right?
First, I admit to running through an emergency actions task list in my head:
get all the electronics charged up
put them and their cords in the backpack
throw some clothes and necessities in a duffle
notify family what's happening
be ready to evacuate if need be
Second, breathe. Long slow deep breaths. Use my anti-panic mantra -- Inhale in this moment, Exhale all is safe.
This allows me to be in a mentally calm, watchful waiting mode, although I admit to feeling some fight or flight tension in my chest. That's okay. It's a familiar feeling. I greet it as the body telling me it's on alert and ready to go when required. And I thank that sensation for reassuring me that I have some control in this situation.
For me, realizing that I have some control in an unpredictable situation helps to tame worry quite a lot. Having choices gives a sense of empowerment and safety. Control over my choices provide the ability to not over-react.
Third, find something productive to do, while keeping an eye on the flood level. Well that something productive is blogging.
The faster than usual movement of the creek is mesmerizing, even though the water itself is an unlovely muddy taupe. As the creek persists in its journey past my window, it takes my mind along for the ride. It reminds me of all the rapid change that has been happening of late on the national political level.
11:30 am -- Now the creek seems to be speaking to me. (Perhaps I'm a little weird that way, but perhaps some of you will relate to interacting with the voices of Nature.) Closing my eyes, I take in the mild roaring sound. a kind of white noise made by the water rushing by.
Allow this cleansing, the creek seems to say. Much that burdens you is in process of getting washed away. Do Not Fear. Witness the movements of the elements of Nature. Release your attachments. Come into the flow that the Spirits send to you, for it is always moving through your landscape, beckoning you to a bigger sense of trust.
Whoa. Message received. Awe replaces worry.
When it is a normal part of your spiritual practice, as it is mine, to hold conversations with Nature, it can be not only quite enlightening, but also profoundly comforting. I invite you to find ways to incorporate this into your daily life, and see what a difference it can make.