what it's time for is up to you--

Wednesday, June 2

Regrettably, those of you who are annually nine to fivers don't get to enjoy the change in rhythms of those who either are still in school, teach or who have kids in school. For us, the summer shifts the gears of every day routine into lower drive and we get to look around a bit.

Last night, the first rain in many weeks had everyone in our neighborhood happy. With a neighborhood boy in tow, the youngest kiddo and I took a walk down the street and back in the quiet rain. The birds were singing their thanks from the shelter of their tree homes.

Still damp and avoiding the air conditioning, I pulled out the folding chair and sat on the porch watching the rain and occasional flashes of lightning. By coincidence, I am rereading Natalie Goldberg's Thunder and Lightning. (As John Stewart would say "my moment of Zen.")

Now, Nat reminds me, it's all Zen. I am transported again to that place. I am outside; I feel splashes of tiny raindrops. I hear a bowl clink in the kitchen and I am distracted. Thoughts of a box of cereal left carelessly on the floor in front of the open pantry door, then the picture in my mind of open cupboard doors, paper towel wads on the counter, debris strewn everywhere. I am annoyed and angry every time I see one of these things. But, reading Nat reminds me. It's all Zen, every bit of it.

If I release the anger instead of manifesting it, I pick up whatever item lovingly, with a smile and put the world back into my order. I am losing nothing. My angry thoughts always had told me that if I picked up something tossed purposefully as a symbol of hostility toward me that I was losing. Instead, Nat, I see now that I lose only when I become part of that childish, selfish game called "It's all about me." If I smile softly and refuse to enter the door of another's angry house, I am at peace and I am one. Thanks, Nat.

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