I have mentioned several times lately that as I take photographs it feels like my eyes are opening. I’m seeing things that I’ve never seen before. Yesterday something happened that really drove home that point.
Most mornings I walk up to the school yard chanting/reading the Sri Lalita Sahasranama, my form of morning prayer. I do this over a 30 minute period while walking around the perimeter of the schoolyard. Since I am walking, reading and chanting all at the same time, I tend to follow the white line that goes around most of the yard. That way I am less likely to trip over something!
Yesterday, early in the chant I felt very startled to notice that there were plants coming out of the cracks in the asphalt where I was walking. How did they get there? I walk this area almost every day and I’d never seen these before. What was going on?
Momentarily, I entertained the possibility that someone had planted them recently in order to keep the kids from tripping on the cracks. I quickly realized that explanation was absurd. These plants had not been planted recently, they had grown there over quite a period of time.
I looked around and saw that there were so many plants. And they weren’t all small.
It was actually quite a jolting experience. How could I have not seen what was right in front of my eyes and all around me?
I’d like to think that it was because I was so engrossed in my morning prayers that nothing else mattered. But that was clearly not the case. My monkey mind is usually very active and I also look at all sorts of things as I walk. I hadn’t even seen what was in front of my own two feet even though I obviously had walked through those plants at least 7 times each day that I had circled the school yard as I chanted.
Incidents like this make me question the health of my mind. This past January, I moved my passport to a “safer” place and I have been looking for it ever since. I’ve torn the house apart and it is nowhere to be found. Also, I often say if I had the time back that I spend looking for my purse or keys I would have years added to my life. I know this happens to everyone, but it can be so frustrating.
I remember a time many years ago when I kept losing things that ended showing up in places where I had looked many times, often in places where the item was in plain sight. There were so many strange occurrences at that time that I began to feel frightened. Did I have Alzheimers? Did I have Dissociative Identity Disorder (which used to be called Multiple Personality Syndrome)? I knew I didn’t meet the criteria for either one of those diagnoses, but I was rattled enough to go see a therapist who I knew would be able to differentiate between the various possibilities. He, of course, reassured me that neither of those processes were happening. He suggested, instead, that my unconscious mind had found a fool proof way to catch my attention when there was some issue I was needing to address. Well, if that was the case, then it was certainly an effective modality!
Whether or not it is true, I’ve found it to be a helpful concept. So what am I supposed to be learning from this recent incident with the plants? Well, it showed me yet again how much there is in front of me that I don’t see. I know that my eyes are opening and will continue to open to the wonders of this world. The jolt also gave me a new post to write! I imagine other purposes will be revealed in the days and years to come.