In some ways, I am frequently on retreat. A housebound, domestic retreat that challenges my spiritual and mental strength every day. Occasionally, my daughter goes away for a few days, or longer sometimes, and I can spend days without speaking to another human soul. At times like these, especially, the realms of birds and trees and tiny creatures comfort me — I’m so grateful to live in a light-filled, serene place with a spacious balcony and a long, leafy view.
As my cognitive impairment means music or radio are disturbing, silence has become my friend.
When I first began blogging about life post-stroke, I mentioned choices and responsibilities. And one of my perpetual choices is to feel calm and peaceful and in the moment: present. To sit quietly with whatever challenges might arise, and allow the emotional charge to seep out of them. To swap the possibility of boredom or frustration or despair for the possibility of insight and peacefulness.
This is another gift I’ve been granted: the time and stillness and slowness that allows such mindful practice in daily life.
My morning walks are generally the only time I spend outside my apartment. Sometimes they take me to the local shops or past the mailbox, if there are things I need to do. But my favourite walks are those that have no purpose other than exercise and delight.
Many people in my suburb long ago planted moraya bushes or hedges, and in spring the perfume from their tiny star-shaped blossoms is intoxicating. They have inspired today’s haiku.
star creamy perfume, heady
in cool morning light