While I walk my dog Buster I try to walk mindfully, especially first thing in the morning, when I am often the only person in the park.
The other day while I was walking I came across half an egg shell, a delicate light sky-blue egg shell. I was delighted, the egg shell means that somewhere nearby a baby bird had just hatched and was starting its way into the world, that a mother bird was probably out catching the early worm bringing it back to feed her baby. I was also really pleased that I spotted it before I stood on it and crushed it. It is a standing joke in my family that I am clumsy and that I do things like that. According to family tales when we were abroad when I was young everyone was standing around saying ‘ooh, look at that’, and I walked up, said ‘what?’ and stood on the beautiful stag beetle that everyone was admiring. I do try to walk lighter these day and more observantly, but I still am clumsy – it is part of hypermobility, but also I normally rush around and don’t pay attention.
I carefully picked it up and managed to get the fragile thing home without breaking it. I put it on my desk to show my husband and maybe ask him if he though varnishing it would protect in some way.
The days passed, back into very busy work mode and then a I got home one evening, put my stuff down and started to move things on my desk. I put a glass down *crunch*, dismayed I looked at the desk and there, scattered in tiny fragments was the beautiful shell.
One moment of inattention ruined a small piece of beauty.
I was gutted.
I guess pride comes before a fall, I had been patting myself on the back about being mindful enough to notice the shell that I had forgotten that one is supposed to try to be mindful all the time, not just at select points in the day, that our focus is supposed to permeate all of our life, not just the morning walk.
Now I am trying to focus on not beating myself up about it. It is a difficult practice, to be present all the time and not to be distracted by the daily grind. If it were easy then we would all be so much happier and the world would be a more peaceful place. Now I just think of the fleeting beauty that I allowed into my life through my mindful practice and how much more it will bring as I allow it to spread into all of my life.