My husband and I recently gave ourselves the gift of a couple days at an Inn on the Southern Coast of Maine. We didn't do anything extraordinary, just relaxed, walked, napped, read, and watched some really great movies like "To Kill a Mockingbird." The both of us found this down time completely refreshing and deeply restorative. We were completely content. And I found myself spending more time than ever in the simple observation of my breath, its movements and its inclination to dance, and to pause, with its partner, the environment! I often spend time every day just watching, witnessing, my breath and its movements, observing the changes that occur moment by moment as the breath flows in and out. But here, in Maine, the breath softened and swelled even further as it danced with the tides of the ocean. What a treat to observe this rhythm, to witness this dance. The observation of rhythmic movement can be delightfully stabilizing. Because the inner eyes that watch, and the inner ears that listen are for all practical purposes still. Still like pools of water quietly reflecting the motions of clouds or birds in the sky above, or the sky within.
I witnessed the following natural wonder on the coast of Maine: the giant rocks on the shore contained pockets of stillness, where still water which had settled into the crevices, nooks, and cranies of the rocks. The pools of water remained motionless, even as the surrounding waves continued their ebbs and flows. Still water surrounded by splashing and spraying. It was arresting, actually, to witness this. Kind of wonderous, the puddles of stillness and clarity amidst the motion of ocean, the foam and fury.
And so it goes with the body, the breath, mind, and emotions. Pockets of stillness inside of the movement, spaces of silence surrounded by sound. Beats and rests, bubbles and shiny moments where it all seems to stop. And we find ourselves somehow suspended in the expansive present. And it is a present, a gift, a glimspe into what it is to be both the wave and the stillness, the ocean and the land, the rock and the water. And to witness this being: rising, falling. Waking, breaking, releasing, resting.
A wave. A beat. A breath. A rest.