Willy Sparrow has remained the same for years. His life runs on a routine, starting directly at 6:00 am. He meditates on the swing, listens carefully to the birds, the dogs barking down the block, the car engines starting to take their owners to their daily grind. The swing sways with the breeze and he breathes in nature’s peace. He loves to start his day with the warm sun on his back, or the crisp morning air touching his face. Life is good for him. He is at peace in his world.
He lifts from his swing and looks around his yard. It is a park, so the neighbors have said. It’s full of birds and bird songs. The Blue jays don’t make good neighbors, but he lets their aggressiveness just roll off his back. No need to get his feathers up and let them bother his perfect world. He ignores their cries and squawks, and finds some satisfaction when the crows begin their morning routine that certainly shuts the blue jays up.
He looks down the manicured lawn and up into the trees, and sees two squirrels playing tag up and down the old tree trunks. He has often wondered where they get their playfulness from. They are his best entertainment, and they always start his day with a smile or a giggle as they scramble from limb to limb. Yes, they are fine creatures with their bushy tails and streamlined bodies. He recalls the day he saw a young squirrel taking a sun bath on the roof of the garage spread out on his back, just enjoying the sun and the quietness of the yard. Even squirrels have their Zen moments, he pondered.
Life is certainly good for Willy Sparrow. He lives in a kaleidoscope of color, sound and smells. He is grateful to be part of this wonder and grace that he lives in. As he reflects on life’s bounties, he hears the house door slam. It’s her- in a frenzy again. In and out of the house she goes. She always forgets something. He hears her mutter words he doesn’t understand, but he can feel that she isn’t too happy with the way her day is starting. He watches her in amusement as she drops something to the ground. “Shit”, she says. He hears her say that a lot. It’s part of her morning routine. She opens the car door and slams it with such force the glass shakes. In his observance of her and the car, he thinks, she must feed the car something it’s not too fond of, because it makes the same groan and moan every morning she leaves. Oh dear, this is a bad day for her. The car’s tires squeal as she pulls out of the driveway. He turns his head away from the chaos, and feels a sadness for her, but quickly returns to his routine of joy in the morning and just living in the moment.
This little story demonstrates how simple life can be if we just live in the moment and appreciate what is around us. Like Willy Sparrow, I have been working on that everyday, and I think I am finally getting it. When my husband and I first separated, just living in our house, working in our yard, filled me with such pain and anxiety, I had to move out of “our space” and find a space that didn’t hurt so much. For a year I lived in apartments– two of them– to find myself again. My journey to flee the hurt was necessary at the time, and it did heal me inside. Now I am back in my house and I have made it my own. It’s not “our” house anymore, and I am finding such joy in it again. “Our” yard that had given me so much pleasure with my husband, has now served to heal me as I work in the dirt, and care for the plants. I am now more aware, more grateful for the blessings given to me.
We all need to do what we have to do. There may be regrets and sorrows, but if you find a space, you will find the peace. I think of the two ducks who come back to my yard every spring. They could live anywhere, but they choose to live in a busy subdivision and in a yard where there is beauty. There are the loud sounds of planes and traffic, but they are happy swimming around or walking side by side, despite their surroundings. They have It! It’s not where one lives, but how one lives. Take pleasure in your blessings, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem. Reach to the inside and pull out the love that is now inside you. No one is a loser– that’s the ego talking. No one is alone– that’s the ego talking again. Just listen. Be like the ducks or Willy Sparrow. Relish in the small things, the blessings. The more you find to be grateful for, the more blessings you will receive.
How do you find your peace, your gratitude? Please share your comments.