Anne lives in a beautiful home that is more than 200 years old in a peaceful area of Pennsylvania. She thinks I come there to visit her but I really go because I know we’ll visit Twin Kiss. We get frozen ice teas to slurp outside near the stream while watching the deer in a large pen nearby. The wind rustles in the pines as we take bites of our white-bread chicken sandwiches. On these days, life is very simple and rich.
Behind her home is a spring house with a creek where geese feed and ducks raise their ducklings. The spring house’s creaky-looking door just above its foundation simply beckoned me to explore. Inside the small room it was cool and dank. The floor was water with a sand bottom. Minnows darted and tiny crawdads crawled. Sand roiled gently as water rose up from the source of the spring.
I bent down to touch the water where the sand roiled. There was no “thinking thinking,” only sensory experience where observer and observed are integrated. The moments were rich and full. Cleansing. Energizing. I can feel it anew, remembering.
Which came first: Twin Kiss? Curiosity? Awe at a natural wonder? I don’t know. But I do know that being fully present gives me stamina, patience, and good judgment.
“Free time” makes it easier to create such moments. So how can we do so in our everyday work world? Attending to context can help.
We might choose to drive a soothing, tree-lined street. Or maybe we choose to walk to the next appointment, pausing to listen to a dove’s call. Perhaps after a meeting we take a moment to really absorb the penthouse view of the skyline.
These are some of the things I do. The return is far greater than the investment of time and attention. How about you?
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