Diane didn’t come to Mindfulness Meditation in a traditional way; she didn’t take a meditation class, read a book, or go to an introductory session at a public library.
During a challenging time in her life, she spent a year simply being with her favorite tree just outside her window, mindful of the play of light and color as the golden afternoon sky turned to sunset, watching the wind gently rustle through its leaves or bend and toss its branches through a ferocious windstorm.
They weathered the storms in her mind and the changing of seasons—buds and blossoming tree flowers in Spring, leaves opening to the green of Summer and changing to vibrant hues of red, yellow, and orange before silently returning to earth in Fall as they ushered in the New England Winter.
Diane hibernated with this majestic maple standing cold and bare under the moonlit sky, draped in billowy puffs of new snow, or sparkling like a thousand jewels from the ice of a winter storm. She grieved and healed in the shadow of her faithful friend.
This magnificent tree succumbed to salt damage from two hurricanes. Yet, moments of clarity may well be the greatest gift of practicing mindfulness—life is change, the edges soften, life moves on, and all is well. Diane had learned to sit in peaceful silence and simply be in the midst of it all.