Musings on Mindfulness
I watch the zebra-like pattern of light shine through the window blinds. It is both cool and shadowy, warm and bright as I stand in front of the sink under the window. The house adjusts to the absence of noise and chaos as the car door slams signifying the departure of all the house’s occupants but me. I wait. Ah, there it is. The relief pours through me as does the knowledge that everyone I love is off to start their respective lives at school and at work. I am not needed in this moment. I wait in the new stillness and silence. My ownership of the moment settles in and becomes my reality. I look at the slanted light, close my eyes to feel it’s warmth and listen to the quiet, appreciating every sensation of peace. I open my eyes and look down into the sink at my hard boiled egg cooling in the pot. I love hard boiled eggs and I feel my excitement rising at the anticipation of peeling and eating this little gem. I do not rush the delicious feeling of anticipation. I relish and live in the anticipation for a minute, relishing the little shiver of joy I get while still just looking at the egg. I note every feeling and sensation as though I am writing a manual on how to enjoy anticipation. I wait and feel and experience this anticipation for another minute. When the feelings begin to settle down, I focus on my egg. I note the satiny smooth sheen of the egg as I watch the waves of heat rise and dissipate into the air. The egg seems to glow in its bed of rapidly cooling water. I am amazed by the thin frailty of its shell even while aware of the force that I will need to use to shatter it. I reach my hand into the pot, feeling the water close about my fingers and wrist, enjoying the warmth. I touch the egg. I feel the anticipation again. I wait and enjoy the second wave of anticipation. I lift the egg and watch as the beads of water pour off of it.
I enjoy the weight and texture of it in my hand. I look at the egg and wonder for a moment as to how it appeared here in my hand, in my quiet home. I wonder about its journey. Where did it come from? Who picked it up from the straw into which it fell? Who packed it and shipped it to the store? I silently thank these people and their patience and their service to my hunger. I marvel at all that needed to happen in order to bring this egg to me in this moment. I am humbled and grateful. I take a deep breath and smash the egg against the counter. I inspect the cracks in order to find the perfect starting point in which to uncover the white and golden meat within. I feel like a solo mountain climber, feeling along the smooth rock for any tiny crack into which to hang onto. I find my crack and begin to peel my egg. I feel the tiny shards poking into the skin of my fingers and I grimace a bit. Not a pleasant sensation but a temporary and necessary one. I continue to peel the egg noting the contradictory feelings of happy anticipation and annoying sharp pricks. I peel slowly and watch as more and more of the egg is revealed. It is so warm and smooth in my hand. A welcomed victory emerging from the bothersome shards of peel. I am hungry. I feel my body and mind yearning for the meal that I hold in my hand. I shake salt onto the egg. I briefly consider plating the egg and sitting down to eat my breakfast but impatience begins to take over and I wrestle with my competing desires.
I decide that I can just as easily and consciously enjoy my meal standing up as sitting down. I clear my mind and raise the egg to my lips. It is so close that I can see the individual grains of salt beading the outer skin of the egg. My mouth opens. From the direction of the kitchen table I hear the opening notes of Captain and Tennille's “Love will Keep us Together”. My husband’s ringtone. I listen to the music as my mind fills in the words to the song and begins to worry that something is wrong. The hungry egg lover in me fights back for a moment protesting the injustice but the wife and mother in me wins this round. I put the egg down with a sigh, consciously acknowledging my frustration, irritation and overall pissed offedness. Someone better be bleeding or dying. As I cross the kitchen, I move the egg to another part of my mind for future consideration and begin to feel, process and deal with my disappointment and annoyance. When acknowledged, the feelings flare angrily for a moment in my mind but quickly sort themselves out into understanding that this moment calls for a knowing that life is simply a never ending series of events and that “Stress” is being “here” but wanting to be somewhere else. Now fully present, and choosing to be “here”, I reach for the phone with love and patience ready to deal with whatever the phone call brings.