about bliss

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

daily bliss: raking

At a certain point in every semester, most everyone grows weary of the relentless pace, the neverending assignments to craft and grade, the frustration with too many tasks of varying importance, the insistence on measuring time by syllabi

Usually this weariness is compounded by seasonal woes—the everpresent grey skies of November, the lingering snow of early April. 

This autumn, November is awash in sunshine, in unseasonably warm temperatures—a stretch of balmy fifty degree days! The semester ennui annoys because everything about these days, from tempered blue skies to gentle breezes to sun, glorious sun, calls me outside. Whispers, "This won't last...enjoy now."

I can almost remember those halcyon summer days when I lived purely in the moment. 

And, on weekends that seem at once to stretch beyond two and a half days and to fly by, I begin to remember this other way. The bliss of a moment unfolding. The purity of full embodied mindfulness translated, magically, into a kind of self-forgetting, as the world simultaneously shrinks and expands. 

Then Sunday evening descends, the work week beckons, and long goodbyes are said. I'm tempted to rush through the week, focused ever ahead, on Friday evening. On recipes to bake, laughs to share, walks to take, gasp—football to "watch." 

This is no way to live 5/7 of a week. And so...I throw my whole self into my work. I make crazy gestures and silly analogies to motivate students. I dispense unconventional life advice. I share baked goods. I take time to laugh with colleagues. I try, my best, to overcome that frustration, that weariness, that ennui, by being where I am. 

I drive home, after a challenging and fun day at work, determined to use the scant hour and a half of remaining daylight to power walk my neighborhood and rake the front lawn. I leave my iPod inside, listening to the zoom of passing cars, the brash voices of teenagers, the scrape of my rake. I watch the sky burn golden in the West, and fade to pastel pink in the East. I feel the seasonal chill set in as the sun melts, and wrap my scarf closely around my cold nose. I comb, I lift, I scoop piles of dead leaves into the street. I don't think of verdant blossoms nor glistening snow. 

I think of here. And now. How this moment contains everything. 

1 comment:

  1. A lovely post! I have to remind myself at times not to "wish my life away" and today you reminded me instead.