I looked up and scanned the sprawl of yard in the magic hour, just before dusk when the sun melts fast from honey gold to brilliant tangerine, and I felt a sudden sadness fill my gut, the whole of me consumed in an agitating, low-grade stress that turned my delightful flower potting into yet another annoyance. I was mildly depressed at the process. Of so much dirt in between the wild brush. Untamable weeds—scraggly, wiry, random, prolific. The organized mess of nature that partied all day and night on this little plot of land. An endless list of improvement projects. Not just in the outside world, but within myself. I was a glutton for obsessing over how much I needed to change. That was the one thing that never had.
When I babied my panda cat, cooing nonsensical nicknames, combing his Oreo-cookie fur—I gushed with adoration, absolutely overflowing. He made me smile and laugh and brim with pure joy. And most times, in the yard, out in my own little patch of wild, I forgot to worry. The heat rang me out like a sopping towel and I had this immensely pleasurable lack of thought overcome me, as if operating on another plane, mesmerized by the loud quiet of natural surroundings—the eternal soap opera of birds, the clink of chain-link fence from bunnies darting through the metal diamonds, the intense vibration of bees in close proximity.
The real progress was made in those suspensions of chronic not-enough-ness. The physical aches and pains quite literally faded. I was strong and capable. Grounded in my body and light of mind. Free within the same life. My soul jumped ahead. I didn't need to fix myself. It wasn't even a thought. And that was living.