When I work outdoors all day, every day, as I do now, in the fall,
getting ready for winter, tearing up the garden, digging potatoes,
gathering the squash, cutting firewood, making kindling, repairing
bridges over the brook, clearing trails in the woods, doing the last of
the fall mowing, pruning apple trees, taking down the screens,
putting up the storm windows, banking the house—all these things,
as preparation for the coming cold…
when I am every day all day all body and no mind, when I am
physically, wholly and completely, in this world with the birds,
the deer, the sky, the wind, the trees…
when day after day I think of nothing but what the next chore is,
when I go from clearing woods roads, to sharpening a chain saw,
to changing the oil in a mower, to stacking wood, when I am
all body and no mind…
when I am only here and now and nowhere else—then, and only
then, do I see the crippling power of mind, the curse of thought,
and I pause and wonder why I so seldom find
this shining moment in the now.
~David Budbill “The Shining Moment in the Now”
I spend only a small part of my day doing physical work – clearly not enough – as most of my waking time is spent almost entirely within the confines of my skull.
It is too much “internal” time, to be sure. My body needs to lift and push and dig and toss so I head outside on the farm twice daily to do farm chores. This physical activity gives me the opportunity to be “in the moment” and not crushed under “what was, what is, what needs to be and what possibly could be” happening mostly in my head.
I’m grateful for some tenuous balance in my life, knowing as I do that I would not make a good full time farmer. There is comfort in the glow of those moments of “living it now” rather than dwelling endlessly in my mind about the past or the future.
Let it shine.