I am sitting on a dock. The water is lapping on the wood, pushing the platform against the posts that hold it stable in a “schlop-galumping” fashion. Rocking, rocking til the waves subside. I can smell the water, not like out of a faucet – it is alive, moving, dropping and climbing with lake weed and fish. A spotty layer of pollen floats on top of the water, like little yellow boats for microorganisms. On my stomach I can follow the line between water and sky, spotting insects and being interrupted by occasional dragonflies who seem to be helicoptering their way across the lake. My jeans are damp in places from dew and my body is uncomfortable against the wood. But I stay. No one is here. And everything I need is. I am silent, but for my breathing, my head resting on my hands.
I don’t know if this was my first meditation, but certainly among them. Silence. Determined to stay and see what comes up. Listening. To water and insects and my thoughts. Waiting for a sense of peace or bliss.
I learned to meditate as a child and never knew that was what I was learning. Today my children have little time for this. They take AP courses and fill their hours with mental competence-building. While I was laying on the dock at the Pend Oreille River, they will be taking summer classes and doing mission trips and taking care of the neighbors children. It is time to get a job. Whatever happened to childhood? The push for SAT scores, Advanced Placement tests, high level math – in order to hopefully be accepted into a college must be creating anxiety that cannot be articulated. I know I have it. True – my eldest is 17 and the “real world” is looming. I wonder what will help her keep centered. I am not sure she has had a chance to learn it. We have kept her busy trying to learn to think ahead.
There is something to be said for taking time every single day just to be. The laundry be damned. The dog can wait. That last detail that has to be accomplished can be written down and attended to after. After I remember the smell of the lake and the layers of warmth as the wind blows and those childhood days of just being.