A couple of days ago, Dan called me to come quickly. Since Dan doesn’t do much of anything in a rush, I thought maybe something was wrong. When I got to his side, he shushed me and directed me to look out the window, where a deer was just finishing the final moments of giving birth, pushing out a placenta and stooping over to check her creation and tend to the new life. We watched for a while, trying to be as quiet as possible, not wanting to disturb the precious moment. We snapped a couple of blurry photos using the long lens, and eventually, the new mother took a few cautious steps away and began to nibble at some nearby leaves, which were probably still drenched from the rainstorm that had passed through only a short time before, probably just as she began her labor.
I can’t stop thinking of how perfect the moment was and how fortunate for Dan to have happened to look out the window at the sloping field below and see the flick of a white tail just at the edge of a thicket. And what a special moment that he chose to share it with me, knowing how much it would mean. It’s just one more reason for feeling lucky about being here in this place at this time, even though it’s not quite where I expected to be right now. There is purpose and beauty everywhere, even in the mundane things like the moments after a hard rain and the glimpse of a distant doe.
Last night, we were talking about meditation and how hard it is to do because our minds are constantly in a state of flux, like hummingbirds flitting from one flower to the next in a garden so big that even thinking about it is completely overwhelming. We talked about how important it is to just focus on the one breath you’re taking right now – at this very moment, and then you can focus on the one that comes after that, and after that until, suddenly, like flipping a switch or tapping the silk top hat with a wand, a state of nothingness that is mediation magically occurs, and you feel both completely filled and totally empty simultaneously. This is a magic trick I would like to achieve, and the numerous efforts I’ve made to accomplish this mysterious feat of psycho-physical perfection make me feel dumber and dumber and more and more inept. How hard can achieving nothingness be, I wonder? Why is doing or thinking nothing so hard, when so many of my thoughts are not worth the energy it took to hatch them?
Is meditation the answer to keeping worries at bay, or is meditation just a way to numb the mind and help anesthetize the psyche to help cope and surmount? I wish I knew the answer, just as I wish I knew how a beautiful, lone doe off in the distance knew exactly how to give birth to a perfect little fawn, then trusted enough in the universe to take a few tentative steps away to find something to eat and drink in order to care for and refresh her own weary body and soul. Maybe I’ll never know the answer, and maybe my attempts at meditation will always leave me either in a state of frustration for almost achieving it or in a state of sleep because quieting my mind that much seems to have more of that effect on me than the vistas of clarity opening up that are supposed to occur.
Whatever happens is meant to happen, and whether it’s a chance encounter with the magic of nature or the magical moment when perfect nothingness is achieved, I’m going to try to stay open to it all and appreciate what comes my way, hoping to put my fears aside and being willing to embrace change, uncertainty, and the new adventures that await. And maybe like that doe, I’ll somehow just know the right thing to do to give birth to the perfect future for me.