Conscious Presence

The other day we watched a little talk by Eckhardt Tolle on YouTube, and he mentioned being “aware of the conscious presence”. While he spoke, I realized that that’s what I’ve been experiencing lately. The night before, as I was sautéing some onions, I noticed that if I kept looking at the little bits in the fry pan, they moved around on their own in the oil. Some of them popped over to another space, and some became smaller and a little brown. I was so impressed that I pointed it out to my husband.

Another time, while baking bread, (as we hear so many folks are doing now), I marveled at each change in the dough, even from the beginning when I mixed the yeast with a little sugar and water. I even went so far as to take photos of dough plumping up and then the end result, showing the golden crust with the scores I made on top to look like branches. I would have included those photos, but my iPhone complains that it doesn’t have enough storage for me to do anything.

Now wait. The electronics thing takes away from the whole idea here. Going outside is my favorite. I do much of the gardening for the entire condo complex here in So. Lake Tahoe, just because I like it. I’ve been given a stipend for the plants the last couple of years, and that’s fun too, since I get to go shopping without spending my own money. I go out there with all my supplies and plants in a pull cart, and look for water that’s coming out of the sprinkler system but is only watering dirt. I feel very “present” as I dig a hole with my shovel, noticing how, mostly it’s rather easy to dig, sort of sandy, a real blessing for me, since all my life in the San Francisco Bay Area, I dealt with the hard clay soil. Sometimes I see an earthworm, which I encourage to come back in to the hole after I’m done planting my plant. I take time to watch him dig his way back in, whispering encouragement to him.

It’s a real blessing to be able to be outdoors, working in a garden. We hear about so many folks who are sheltering in place, actually staying inside their apartment, and here I am out in the forest, really, with my mask in my pocket, should someone come over to talk to me. One woman made my day, saying that whenever she sees a new flower blooming, she thinks, “Oh! the Garden Fairy must have been here!” I’ll take that moniker. It makes me smile.

Here at our condo, there are many friendly neighbors. One couple across the street, never wears masks, and seem to be “close talkers”. I have to back up and remind them about the 6 feet thing. Otherwise, we’ve had a couple of wine evenings with another couple, outside on their porch. They make sure we all have our own plates and little knives to cut our own cheese, and we provide our own glasses. Whatever we bring to share is all packaged up with gloves on and put into ziplock bags for each person. A good time has been had by all, grateful just to be together.

Our pool was allowed to open last Saturday, with restrictions. I ventured in myself, wearing my mask around my neck just in case someone came in. After exercising for awhile, I decided to lie back and float. I watched the trees against the blue sky, and then realized that I was moving along, without trying. The vents in the side of the pool created a current that pushed me around like a leaf, making a full circumference of the pool. It was wonderful to be by myself to be able to experience it.

The next day, I observed a couple of families enjoying the pool. One was in the shallow end and the other in the deep. Then I heard a mom say, “Alexa and Bobby, come more toward this end. Remember social distancing!” It’s a whole new world.

Our California governor, Gavin Newsom, ordered that everyone should wear a mask in public places, and of course keep 6 feet apart, yada yada yada….. We’re near Stateline, Nevada though, and as soon as you cross the border, NO ONE is wearing a mask. We still wear ours though, perhaps imagining that folks are looking at us funny. In California now, it’s the opposite, you get glared at if you DON’T have a mask on.

Today (June 25th), we hear on the news that there is a big spike in the virus since states have been reopening, there have been crowds flocking to protest the killing by police of George Floyd, and many young people insisted on going to the beaches for the Memorial Day weekend. Some of those supposedly bright college students have been interviewed on TV saying that they don’t think the virus will affect them, and they don’t care to wear a mask. It’s a worry that in a couple of weeks we will see the results of more people testing positive because of the people that have been in crowds mingling with others…..maybe even their own grandparents.

And here I sit, at home, outside on my porch. The sunshine just brought to my attention the glint of a single web blowing in the breeze. It’s getting longer and longer and there’s a tiny white spider that’s riding on the end of it and working hard to make the web attach to a nearby bush.

Oh, excuse me. I just got back in to my conscious presence.


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