The only sleep I got last night was that emotionally overwhelmed, prickly, 30 minute half-doze after I'd put my niece and nephew to bed and laid down on the couch to await my step-sister's return from dinner. Now, the extra-large coffee I took with me this morning to Victoria Park to see Mia and Tegan has worn off completely, and I am dreamily anticipating a nap. I had a superb experience - we played on the slides, monkey bars, and in the water park, and had a little picnic. I had the most energy that I've had in months, and each moment was more invigorating than the one before. It was perfect weather, perfectly gorgeous, sunny, blue sky, green grass; and I've never seen Tegan having such a blast as she was in the water. I don't think I've ever used the word "delightful" before to describe anything in my life, but watching them play was definitely that. I am really learning how to open myself up to kids and give of myself whole-heartedly. (I've always had a secret problem with resenting children for being loved and cared for so well. Call it bitterness, jealousy...I've seen the same attitude in my father, but now it is thankfully melting quickly away, and I can really just enjoy them enjoying themselves.) It makes me happy to see them happy. It makes the crap in my life seem far away, makes my struggles to become a better person entirely worth it. So, I may be wrong, but it seems to me you don't necessarily need to have your own children to experience the joy of providing them with space to be happy. I was afraid when kids started popping into my life 8 or so years ago. Now I am forever grateful, because they've been opening up my heart in a way that nobody else ever did, or could. I thank the universe for putting them in my path and forcing me to meet them head-on.
As I started to walk home from the park after saying good-bye to the girls, I saw a heron standing in the lake, under the shade of some over-hanging trees. I have mentioned before that I believe herons are one of my animal guides, and whenever I see one, I think it is telling me I am on the right path. I sat right down and watched it. For the first time, I witnessed how the heron feeds - crouching down, curving its neck so its beak is parallel to and just above the water, and suddenly jabbing its head like an elegant spear into the lake. I saw it catch at least two little fish. I saw it walk slowly backwards as it appeared to be watching its prey. I saw it pose like a pointer dog, long elegant neck outstretched, body in balance, standing on one leg. I did not get to see it soar today, to see it unfold its massive wingspan and glide across the water - instead it walked carefully up the bank and into the trees. I thought to myself that perhaps I've just had the briefest of glimpses into what Thoreau experienced at Walden Pond. I came nearer to the still point within me today than I have been in a very long time. I think the only thing that kept me from feeling it completely was my expectations of an epiphany. There was no epiphany, only near-contentedness, near-harmony, near-peace.
I think in feeling this way, I will be able to have a very good sleep this afternoon, since this is as clear as my conscience has ever been. And this is as truly sleepy as I have ever felt - my hypervigilence, my anxiety, my stress has dissipated for now. I think I actually feel safe, like the universe is cradling me, telling me to go to sleep now, that it will watch over me and take care of everything while I am slumbering. I picture myself in a big hammock in the shade of two tall, old, oak or redwood trees, a soft warm breeze drifting gently off a shimmering lake...the sun sparkling off the mild ripples in the water, and now and then through the high leaves of these grandest of trees...blue sky sprinkled with puffs of the whitest clouds. I am total comfort...I am a mind free of cares. The hammock swings gently, rocking me like a baby in the womb, and I am unconditionally loved by the universe, I am its favourite child. Life has been paused, just now, to finally let me rest.
I sometimes write things that I don't really mean or believe. These are not to be taken literally, nor as definitive statements about me or my beliefs. Thoughts and emotions are transient, and I reserve the right to change my mind, generalize, exaggerate, give strong opinions, or write other possibly offensive statements. I don't lie, but I may say something that's not true to check whether I believe it or not, or to make a point. Call it creative license. This is my blog, and do have the right to say what I want. I'm using it in creatively therapeutic ways. Whatever the reader may think of me and my words, please believe that my core intentions are always good and I never willingly hurt anyone.