The plant stems, supporting sagging leaves during a summer’s drought cast long shadows across earth and rock as I walk a small garden. My whole body stands in imitation of the stalks. My skin feels puckered like a plant craving water.
Muscles draw in protectively, in imitation of the flowers. My chin turns upward, mouth soft and vulnerable, open and begging water from the sky. Waiting thus, a flutter flashes my line of vision and I look sideways to see a black butterfly settle on a purple cluster of tiny flowers. Stalks shimmy in a dry breeze.
The butterfly’s wings turn upward, revealing an inky coat splashed with orange and white edging. I am reminded of lace. I stand transfixed with its beauty. I do not know how it is called. As the wings settle, I delight in a pale blue strip accenting the black. I had not seen this before. I expect its departure any moment. I leave, having imbibed all I can for now.
Witnessing when I stand in nature opens me in deep ways. I feel easily what impacts me, whether beautiful or ugly. Yet even here, as real as it seems, I can be subject to projection. For example, moments earlier, I stopped to watch a large brown beetle ramble over mulch beside a blue hydrangea.
The evening air was thick and there was no rain. I scanned the hydrangeas and then my eyes grew wide at the sight of what seems gigantic…a cockroach on spindly legs? I studied it…a large beetle I named it. Even as part of me wanted to step on it lest it hurt the plant of my affection, something else wanted to get down on hands and knees, observing this being’s movements more closely. My mind got busy: In what pattern did its legs move?
I simply stood. But I noticed that my inner conversation was not strictly scientific study. “Too fast it’s going…Why, it can’t get over that large chunk of mulch? Look, it missed that way.”
Noting this, I smiled. Was I looking at this being as if it were a tiny child?
I witnessed the witness. My gaze settled into appreciation of the moments…and I noticed what each movement told me about myself.
I enjoyed reading your writing. A reminder that movement and witnessing happens minute to minute, it is as easy as bringing awareness to it....Corlene
Sunday, August 8, 2010 2:41:00 PM EDT