Tuesday, March 19, 2013

To The Least

After finding myself avoiding a friend for some unexplained reason, it took me a while to recognize the reaction as similar to something that has happened in the past with people and friends.

I feel like I can get along with most people, and I rarely find myself avoiding people or categorically rejecting them. Of course, there are some people I find toxic and avoid; there are always exceptions. Setting boundaries is healthy.

And then there are those people that I find that I like or enjoy and yet still seem to avoid coming too close. I am grateful for a new awareness around that.

Sometimes these people might confide in me how they feel about someone else. How they don't want to sit with them, or be in the room with them, and they don't like them; they are described with "Yuck."

Of course we all have opinions. Yet I find that the collaterole damage to my relationship with this person is that I avoid them. Sure, they seem to "like" me right now, but what would happen if I fell into that "Yuck" category? What if I said something that they found unfavorable?

At that point I begin to avoid them. And then a phrase occurred to me, because I saw that I knew if this person would talk about someone derisively, someone that I thought was OK, then perhaps there is little distinction between the "yuck" person and I:

  • What you do to the least of my brethren, you do to me.

Now this sentence becomes personal when I speak it as my own.

Whether the words are directed at me or someone else, I can see that there is little difference in the negative comments' effect on me, my friends, and the world.

And a great opportunity to notice my own language. As much as I like to think I can separate them into categories, whatever I say about anyone, I do to all my friends.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Lakes Alive; An Avian Escort

Arriving at the park I was greeted with an empty parking lot, which meant the entire park and lake were mine to explore. And the birds, serenading me in place of children's laughter and screams, seemed to focus entirely on me.

It also meant the Rudy-dog was leash-free, which sure made him happy. And me, so that I didn't have to walk and stop at his schedule.

And that's a new focus for my walks: stopping. There seems to be a greater connection with what is in my environment when the busy-ness of walking and moving and eyes ground focused or moving over  the terrain. It is so much easier to fall into the tunnel-vision of Now when I am in a single place, alive in stillness.

Walking along the shore, it seemed that the geese were particularly relaxed today, with hardly a ripple at my approach. They stayed where they were, very close to the shore, and seemed to be waiting for me as I passed. I stopped. No response. The story of my brush with dolphins surfaced as I watched the water waving before a soft breeze.

Continuing on, the light was shimmering on the wings of bluebirds who seemed to be flying just before me, ahead of me as I approached each one of the trio of Perulas. I assumed it was coincidence that they continued to fly before me, until I rounded the western end of the lake and turned toward the east. They continued to fly in front of me, resting on branches just to the side of the trail, then flitting ahead to the next tree. At one point they had me surrounded; behind, in front, to the side.

Then a female gold finch joined in the fun, hopping and flying on the ground, holding a 10 foot buffer between us as it chirped and hopped in the grass just next to the trail.

When I stopped and stood watching them, they watched me. They didn't bother flying until I moved, and they only flew far enough ahead to create a distance that I would breech in a few steps, only to fly again to the next tree.

Just like the dolphin in the open ocean off Hawaii who glided by just inches from my out-stretched fingers...