What does it mean to you to be inspired? Is it our breath? Is it found in specific places or spaces? Is it our ability to direct our attention to present awareness? Maybe it’s personal. What inspires you? Do that. Be inspired. Practice being inspired.
Sunrise Practice 3/24/2021 - Petite Rivière St. François, QC
I woke up for sunrise. Outside temperature: -1 C. Hot Tub: 95 F.
I lifted the cover 1/2 way, slid in welcoming the warmth, and finished pushing the cover off to the side. No jets, silence … watching. I pondered the expanse of the sky – apparently a traditional practice from mystical Judaism I had recently learned* – to stare at the sky; to start the day with ‘right perspective’. Perspective is inspiring.
The trees that crested the mountain ahead looked like the imperfect fringe of a blanket “fait a la main” (handmade). A beauty meditation unto itself.
I heard the crows, watched an airplane leave behind a fuel line, and occasionally I heard the approaching and passing wooshes of local traffic as the neighbours’ days got underway.
I watched. I waited. I saw the sky get light-er; … whispy clouds at first, white and yellow-y beige, lit from beneath. And then more clouds gathered. I closed the hot tub cover 1/2 way, hoping to conserve heat. I put on the jets to gently comfort my muscles from the horseback riding the day before. I watched. I waited.
Too long I decided. Had I been more prepared I might have turned the tub temperature up while making coffee and waiting for the sun to continue rising before getting into the tub. The water temperature just couldn’t overcome the air temperature. The cold was winning. I turned everything off.
I jumped out, closed the lid and grabbed my towel – not heated, but chilled. (Note to self: leave towel inside in future.) By the time the cover was replaced and clipped shut, the chill factor was increased by my wet bathing suit. I stepped in through the back door, and then back out to peel my suit off, leaving it in a heap to return to the heat.
The house was still quiet. I had been in the hot tub almost 40 minutes. I skipped the shower, put cream on my legs and returned to the kitchen to make coffee while I watched the sun come up over the mountain – almost an hour after the official sunrise.
Ahhh well, nothing is lost. I got the silence, the stillness, the warm water, the expansive sky, the slow moving and changing clouds, the sound of the birds, the new light of day: an extraordinary morning practice. I am inspired.
And now I’m writing at the table next to the jigsaw puzzle we did this holiday. The sun is lighting my page, and warming my face and arms. Soon the rest of the guests will be up and about. In fact, I can hear toothbrushing.
*I learned this on one of my favourite Podcasts: “On Being”, an interview by Krista Tippett with Ariel Burger, artist, rabbi, teacher