I’d swear my body was in the chair next to the fire. I could see the cat curled under the wood stove. Will was wearing a head lamp, while sitting in the rocking chair. Jen was camped in her favorite corner. They were both quietly reading.
I was reading a myth from Women Who Run With the Wolves, and I lost track of time and place. I was completely immersed in the story, focused on the words on the page. I finished a chapter, looked up from the book and glanced around to see what I had missed.
They didn’t notice. Apparently, it’s easier for kids to get lost in books. I’d forgotten what that was like.
I didn’t think about having to feed the wood stove or break up a fight between kids. The television wasn’t blaring, the dishes were done. There was no other place to take my mind to.
It was delicious.
I wanted to go there again, in the worst way.
The experience got me thinking about how to get there – to that place where I’m outside of my body, but completely inside my mind. I don’t mean inside the mind that has me bumping into the lists of things I ought to be doing. I’m talking about the part of my mind that embraces what is right in front of me.
Mindful is standing under a hot shower, feeling the water run down the back of my head, watching the water beads roll off my shoulders and inhaling the scent of rosemary shampoo.
Mindful is not worrying about using too much water, or hurrying to get the shower over with so I can switch loads in the washer and dryer.
Mindful is standing at the washing machine feeling the texture of an old favorite t-shirt, and burying my nose in freshly folded towels.
Mindful is not grumbling while sorting socks, complaining of how the laundry seems to multiply, and nagging the kids to come and help me.
Mindful is pacing myself through the process of pounding garlic and chopping red peppers. Mindful is slowly stirring in the grated Parmesan and patiently watching the sauce thicken and coat the wooden spoon.
Mindful is not barking at the kids to set the table while asking them if they finished their journal entries while scorching the Alfredo and burning my wrist on the edge of the pan.
Mindful is Jenny when she methodically cuts out the last of 27 stick puppets.
Mindful is Will when he climbs the hill at the park for the 18th time to ski the jump that it took him the better part of the morning to make.
Mindful is not worrying about what might come next, but embracing what is happening right now.