First of all is the encounter yesterday in my garden. A beautiful autumn sun was lighting up the bottom of my small patch of suburban nature, a garden left mainly to please itself and occasionally presented with small gifts of random pieces of rock or wood purloined on travels.. There is a table and two chairs nestling at the bottom end, just in front of the holly tree amidst a tangle of shrubbery and a lost pathway. Somewhere to rest a moment, and to listen to the sounds accompanying the day, bird chatter, next door’s children flitting in and out, dogs beyond making their voices heard. I was happy here, removing some dead wood from the borders, and attending to some out of order weeds which were threatening to strangle my baby lavender plants. Was I chattering to myself? Quite possibly, enough to engage the curiosity of my robin, who always flies down for a chat. How such a small thing can transform a day is a marvellous example of what David Brooks ( The Social Animal) names as limerence;
it’s a drive and a motivation. The conscious mind hungers for success and prestige. The unconscious mind hungers for those moments of transcendence, when the skull line disappears and we are lost in a challenge or a task — when a craftsman feels lost in his craft, when a naturalist feels at one with nature, when a believer feels at one with God’s love. That is what the unconscious mind hungers for. And many of us feel it in love when lovers feel fused.
This uplifiting moment of encounter with the robin led me to bring in my partner to photograph him, which in turn led me to turn to my digital toolbox and create an image from it. A chance opportunity to engage with nature, a moments happiness in the garden and a memory of it to hold. It takes me to Thoreau, and to KAMO NO CHOMEI , to remember to practice the age old wisdom of being truly present in the moment.
Enjoy your new week in the days to come.