Do you have something in your life that when you are doing it time falls away?
When I am out in my garden weeding or tying my tomatoes to stakes, planting seeds, or pruning, time is suspended. I am not aware of my worries or anticipations. I am just completely in the moment with my garden. Hours could pass and other than parts of my body telling me it is time to quit (my knees just don’t kneel well) I could continue indefinitely.
Why do I crave time falling away? Essentially those times become voids in my day. I have no memory of to attach to the time; it is lost to me. And that is the exact reason it is important. I am thinking about nothing. There is not the constant chatter in my head worrying about next week or what’s for dinner or five years from now. There is simply silence. There is breathing and space. For a few moments I am not berating myself, trying to be perfect, listing the things to do, or enforcing discipline and productivity. I am just a woman in a garden communing with my plants.
Nothing may grow. I have had a string of seeds that didn’t germinate and I have beet leaf fungus. I can’t completely protect my plants from hail or wind. If there are only a few plants and lots of empty dirt, it wouldn’t even matter. My garden is a refuge from this plasticized world. My fingers get dirty there and the carrots I grow don’t come in uniform sizes in a perfectly labelled bag.
There are many activities people can do to achieve this state of being. I’ve achieved the same state running (when my knees still let me), knitting in the winter months, taking a hot yoga class, and hiking in nature. It takes something that is enough of a focus to create mindful distraction while at the same time releasing the need for really thinking. One foot in front of the other, one stitch at a time, one weed, one string, one note, one breath, or one pose; it is forced sequential thinking and linear paths. You cannot go on to the next thing because first, there is only this thing.
My mind needs the break because it doesn’t take many. In my chatter-filled days, I may not have recollection of the time spent in the garden but I know that my body and my mind found each other again and my mind shut up long enough to listen.