Almost Autumn

autumn sky

For perhaps twenty years, I’ve used our local parks as a periodic retreat from the bustle of life, a time to write, read, pray and meditate.  Or sometimes, just sit quietly and watch the  world go by.  In my big industry days, I arose early and stopped by a park on my way to work.  Although I’ve been fortunate to have jobs where some tardiness was tolerated, weekdays were always a little rushed so my Saturday mornings in the park became particularly valued.  At this point in my life, my schedule is more flexible but old habits persist.  Saturday mornings are still special.

I arrived at my favorite picnic table in Yorba Regional Park at approximately 8:30 this morning, a thermos cup of coffee and a cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese in hand.  Autumn was in the air but it’s a Socal autumn.  The sky was pale blue and a pleasantly warm breeze rustled the yellow-green Sycamore leaves over my head. Over my breakfast, I read my three morning readers then settled into my Morning Pages.   For some reason, I’ve always left meditation for last … I suppose the idea is to carry the peace it brings back into the world when I leave the park.  Unfortunately, that frequently means if I’m feeling rushed, meditation is skipped.  Needing the the peace it brings, I’ve been trying not to do that.

I set my camp chair in the shade and my meditation timer for fifteen minutes. The wind in the trees, the faint twitter of birds and an occasional duck laughing in the distance were the backdrop to my mantra.  Even the whoosh of traffic on La Palma Avenue and the walkers passing by chattering about the day ahead didn’t disturb me.  But someone did about ten minutes in … and Isquirrel1 couldn’t resist opening my eyes to see who was scolding me.  A squirrel on the low branch ten feet away was not happy that I was meditating under his tree.  I tried to reason with him in his own tongue and perhaps he understood because he went back to foraging for seed pods, leaping from branch to branch … and eventually from tree to tree … with an easy grace and daring.  When my meditation bell rang signaling fifteen minutes, I was still watching him.  Meditation comes in many forms and I suppose a squirrel can be as good as a mantra.

It’s Almost Autumn and I’m at peace, at least for the moment. The rest of the day, we’ll take one moment at a time.  Have a good weekend.

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4 Comments on “Almost Autumn”


  1. Thank you for the post – your story has started my own meditation… so I am as if your debtor – that’s the entrance to the comprehension of the spiritual oneness of humanity , right? http://arthiker.wordpress.com/2013/09/28/crazy-paving-or-self-portrait/

  2. territerri Says:

    I’d always thought of meditation as a very specific act with a very specific set of rules. Maybe you’re right though. Maybe it is whatever it is that sets your mind at peace. In which case, I’ve been meditating on my neighborhood walks for years.


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