This one is for zord's thanksgiving contest...
Today I walked out into the back garden and immediately saw a black cat that looked just like the one that comes into the garden from somewhere each day.
I like the black cat; we’re becoming acquainted. It used to run away from me when it saw me, but now it doesn’t, and just sits there and watches me. It is learning not to be afraid, but is still cautious.
But when I focused my eyes I saw it wasn’t a cat at all but dark shadows the sun was casting through some oddly shaped pieces someone had left on the lawn and making my brain bring up the image of a cat.
A short while later I was out walking in the countryside and thinking about how our brains make things and show them to us from the many aspects of the grid we have learnt from our experiences as we’ve grown up from that most tender age where we were as young children, where all things were a wonder.
The grid is something we all use that begins as a small learning, such as burning our finger on a flame and knowing not to do it again the next time we’re near a flame.
So every time we see a flame we bring up our grid of experience and hold it up to the flame and remember that fire burns. And as we grow older we add to the grid until we see everything through the eye of the grid.
Fire fighters would need an extensive grid to perform their duties in fighting fire.
But as very young children our minds are open and we see things as they are, the grid has hardly formed.
I was thinking all this as I was walking along and not really noticing much at all, until I came to a rock in the path, almost a boulder really.
Stopping to look at it I saw the sun shining across its surface and revealing the indentations making shadows; and the shear weight of it that had pushed it down into the ground.
All about it were the fallen leaves going yellow; and birds were calling their many songs, as small clouds drifted in the blue sky.
It felt like a mindfulness moment of appreciation in all the habitual circles of my day that I tread, hardly noticing what is around me.
As I stood there aware of the rock, the sound of the river nearby came to me. It was swollen from the rains and rushing to the ocean and intruded on my reverie; and so, with one last look at the rock I carried on walking.
Sometimes a moment comes where you find yourself totally aware in the moment that stops you in your tracks to savour it, where the grid has been lowered and things are seen for how they are.
We use our grid of experience to navigate our way through life, and for the most part it serves us.
But our grid colours our expectations and influences us to act in a certain way.
How would it be if we were on another planet totally strange, our grid wouldn’t work; everything would be: and that looks like this and that looks like that, but nothing would be the same to match up to our grid we’ve spent our lives making, so that we would have to drop it or find ourselves caught up in cognitive dissonance.
A very young child may find no notion of danger and reach out to explore, and exploring find much joy, until something hurts it and is then added to the grid.
We all grow up to use the grid we’ve learnt; but somewhere inside us is the child still thrilled to explore, still wanting to savour every waking moment.
This is only a small story of a small rock in the great scheme of things, but it caused a moment of appreciation, something to be thankful for, and brought to my attention that I could open my eyes and appreciate all the other moments and that life is full of the unknown that have been named, and named become a thing to fit in the grid, and that the grid was a construct I could lower and look to see the beauty that is everywhere.
Images from Pixabay