In the wind
I closed my eyes today, I feel different somehow. You know that feeling of the wind on your skin as the sun penetrates the lids of your eyes? That soft reddish or orangish glow seemingly casts its own shadow. At the same time I close my eyes, I can feel the wind and it has a way of bringing memories along with it. It reminds me of those moments when I would run and hide as a kid, waiting for my grandparents to come find me; sitting on the beach at eighteen years old as I waited to recover from getting pummeled by the surf, it felt like I was waiting for the world to restart; those moments when I would be rested, but still so breathless after a very long hike in the foothills of my hometown; that moment I never saw coming when I was falling in love alongside a drainage ditch while skipping school with my best friend, my childhood love, and later turned into my wife. Those warm and airy memories find me in that wind today while I sit in meditation during my afternoon lunch break.
I can’t help but observe all these thoughts that scatter across my arms, neck, and hands. My exposed skin warming in the sun after a few deep breaths. So relieved to have these brief moments of being restfully aware of my “tiny skull-sized-kingdom”. Every breeze blows for just a second and I learn to savor it. I can also feel it take me with it… just a little. A lite and wafting escape. The only thing holding me down is the reminder of the “Headspace App voice” telling me to “feel the weight of my feet and hands” as I count my breaths in and out. Striving to be anchored in the here and now of each breath.
It doesn’t take much to forget where I am. A strong breeze reminds me to smell that Southern California air in March and allow it to evacuate my senses while taking me back 30 years. I am supposed to be letting these thoughts pass, but I feel like a time traveler, I can cross great expanses in a matter of seconds and find myself once again walking home at sunset along a dirt path after a long day of talking to the girl who will one day be my wife. Now, the wind settles, the sun begins to heat the top of my head and warms my shoulders as I slowly roast back to forty-six years old to consider what I am doing sitting here. Just breathing again.
In a few minutes, I will hear that “Headspace App voice” (Andy!) tell me “Open your eyes, when you’re ready.” And I will. I will slowly open my eyes and discover that the color I see has shifted from reds and oranges to greens and blues. I will listen to the sounds again! The birds, traffic, people, generating a unilateral auditory imprint as I sat indifferent to it all before. I begin to walk, but unsteadily as I am reminded that my Labyrinthitis is still very much a part of my life. As I walk, I try to remember what it was like before I did all this stuff. What it was like to not take breaks/breaths or take time to sit with just my thoughts. I recall and I laugh at myself outwardly a little as I begin to turn my head side to side as I walk (A Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy or V.R.T. Thing). It must look weird to the people in the offices as I walk by, but then again… maybe one of them can’t walk at all, maybe they are looking at me wishing they could be so lucky to be that weird — wishing they could join my grateful Ministry of Silly Walks.
I continue to walk in the parking lot as I look up... and then look down, left, and right. I will make my way up the stairs and then back to work. In a few more minutes I might just lose my mind, but for the last 15 minutes I am glad I took the time to get to know my mind a little bit more.