Last week I took the train to DC for a quick trip to visit my brother. Our plans were to walk and see birds, and that is exactly what we did. For mid January, the weather was mild and there was plenty of sunshine. And there were birds everywhere. One afternoon we walked miles along the Potomac stopping to enjoy the changing view of water, sky, birds, land. The colors shifting on the water as the tide moved in were magnificent. The sky blue, blue, blue. And the birds, oh the birds my feathered friends, so many of them. We saw great blue herons, double-crested cormorants, golden-crowned kinglets, lesser scaups, common and hooded mergansers, red-throated loon, American coot, peregrine falcon, red-tailed hawk, cooper’s hawk, red-shouldered hawk, bald eagles, Canada geese, black ducks, mallard ducks. There were more, but those were the highlights. When I walk right down by a large body of water with no high land close, I feel the size of the earth in a so-open-as-to-almost-feel-the-earth’s-curve sort of way. With cars flying by not that far away, trains in the distance speeding up the tracks, strolling along the river slows down time.
It’s not just that you’re moving at a different speed, a slower speed than most everything around you. You are actually changing time. We seem to think of time as a commodity, and in our culture it’s always a scarce commodity. I like to think of time as just another strand of reality available for weaving any which way we can manage to weave it. So when I’m grounded, centered in my heart, and being (rather than doing), I can breathe hold of that strand of time and stretch it out so the weaving is big and open, and there’s a whole new way of existing and experiencing. A place outside of time really.
After our long walk by the river, we stopped at an overlook. We were just sitting in the car looking down a grassy slope through a few trees to the water. There were some Canada geese on the bank and more in the water. Suddenly out of the bushes to our right came two red foxes at high speed, one chasing the other. The geese were startled and their reaction was delayed, flapping and honking as they flew down to the water. The foxes were perhaps 20 yards in front of us, quite close really, and they raced off to our left disappearing into a wooded area. The whole thing happened in a matter of seconds, those foxes were flat out running. Yet it was as if we had created a bubble around us with the foxes and geese in it, and left time behind to be fully in the moment. The first fox was missing some hair at the end of her/his tail. Their tongues were hanging out, feet dancing over the earth, tails flying straight behind them. We could see their hair move with each foot step. We carried on a conversation of mostly exclamations as we absorbed the experience. A high speed chase in mid mating season, a small piece of the dance. And all this happened outside of time. We wove a hole in reality and stepped away from time into being.
Lately there are messages everywhere that remind me to be, just be. And I notice that when I’m being, that’s when everything feels aligned. Just be. And the All is right there, in you. Just be. Change time or leave it behind. Just be.