|Green Hands Essays|
|My Favorite Chair|
Walking blind in the dark
I just came in from the garden. When I went out it was 9:30, and pretty dark. But I didn't turn the outside lights on, and instead kind of felt my way around with my feet, to dump the kitchen compost into the compost frame in back of the garage. I know that route pretty well.
I haven't had a regular sitting meditation practice for several years, for several reasons. One is just pure cantankerousness, I think: I don't feel like doing anything just because it's supposed to be good for me. I have to experience that it's good for me. Another is that there aren't very many chairs in our house that are really comfortable for me to sit in for an extended period of time.
I had a pretty little loveseat in this corner of the garden several years ago; when my back went south, it became the most uncomfortable seating! Since then I have been trying to get something better. Last year I sat in an Adirondack chair and found it wonderfully comfortable, but that one was made of recycled plastic, and I didn't want to risk what gases the sun would draw out of it.
Situating the chair
And so we got one. Took me a month to get it situated the way I wanted: rocks placed under it so it's level, the path fixed so it leads to it from two directions & it's on the back of a loop, some tall phlox removed from in front of it that I didn't like anyway because they always got such terrible mildew, and some little plants filled in around instead (thyme, healall, a mini hosta, a couple of pinks). Originally I thought I would use the seating when I was tired from working in the garden, but after I got everything just the way I wanted, I also started going out to the garden just to sit there & gaze around.
Eventually, I liked the feeling of being there so much, I started paying attention to everything I was feeling, not just the visual beauty. Paying attention to breath is a meditation I've found useful in the past, so I'm not so rebellious about it. I don't have anything like a regular practice now but I feel good about it, and feel attracted to it. For the first time in years.
Being in the night
It was mild tonight, with a breeze that whispered in the pines and lifted my hair. Overcast the weather will probably be colder again tomorrow. When I sat down, I could see that the sky was light, from moon behind the clouds, or the town lights, or both but everything else was still inky. After closing my eyes to meditate, I opened them and looked around.
© copyright Catherine Holmes Clark 1998; last updated 28 November 1998