sensing the moment: nottingham park


{McPherson Pond}

W eekday mornings I like to go to the park and sit next to the pond to clear my head and gather my thoughts.  This park is the one I often go to when I feel troubled or overwhelmed.  I spent days and days here in the leadup to my divorce. During the week, it is quiet and tucked in by the pond I am away from the dog and fitness trail walkers.  I tried this little experiment as a meditation and an experiment on stillness.

I took a period from 7:56-9:32 am and sat in the moment.  I documented what I may have missed had I been busy.

hearing:  a chorus of bird calls from every direction, chickadees calling back and forth in the pine, the clip-clop of a nearby Amish buggy, a chainsaw in the distance, an occasional far away dog barking, a Canadian goose, splashing down into the pond, a frog jump, the Amish schoolhouse bell ringing nine a.m.

smelling:  a fresh spring breeze, woodsmoke, the smell of flowers drifting from somewhere nearby

seeing: chickadee courtship, the red flash of a redwing blackbird, a small ant crawling across my notebook, a sparrow confrontation, a lone goose gliding on the pond, the first small butterflies, a hawk soaring overhead, the sunshine casting reflections, and ripples floating across the pond

feeling:  the sunshine warming my back, wet dew on my toes, the peace of sitting at rest, community with the natural world

Morning meditation seems far better when you spend it with mother nature.  I look forward to more sensing the moment in other situations, taking the time to write down what is truly going on in and around me.


slow mornings



I wouldn’t say I don’t do mornings.  I do mornings.  I just prefer to take my mornings slowly.  I like to lie in bed awhile and greet the morning.  Not a long time, but maybe twenty minutes or so.  Notice the softness of the sheets, the sun breaking over the field, the cat lying on my legs.  I don’t want to rush to get dressed and run through the cold to the car and then be accosted by bright fluorescent lights and the complaints of my co-workers first thing in the morning.

I like to come downstairs and put the kettle on.  Feed the birds.  Feed the cats.  Enjoy a morning walk before the rest of the world wakes up.  Have a hot cup of tea and watch an old television show, peruse my social networks.   Then I am ready to start the day.

Up at dawn, the dewy freshness of the hour, the morning rapture of the birds, the daily miracle of sunrise, set her heart in tune, and gave her Nature’s most healing balm.
~Louisa May Alcott

I am a much happier person when I  have my slow mornings.  Simple acts to welcome the new day such as putting the kettle on or stepping outside into the morning sunlight can make a remarkable difference to our approach to the day.  In the month before I quit my job, when I was at my most stressed and unhappy I carved out 20 minutes to read my book before I got dressed.  There was something about sitting in my robe with a cup of tea and my book that let me put aside the worries that bombarded me upon waking just a little bit longer.

Slow living is one of my goals during this next stage of my life.  I am frankly just exhausted from running around for the past twenty years.  Years that included being a married mother of two little girls and a single mother of two growing girls.  I wish that I had listened to my body sooner all those times it was screaming for me to just rest awhile.  Mornings for me are the best time to give myself this gift.  Even if it is just for fifteen minutes.

Do you take time for some stillness in the mornings?  What is that one small thing that you give to yourself? And if you don’t what will you do to give a gift to yourself?

I would love to hear!  Please leave a comment by clicking under the title of this post.