The Buddhists talk about beginner’s mind. Travelers take to the road and begin to see the most mundane things as a big adventure. New lovers move in slow motion and when they lift their heads it seems that everyone is smiling. Curiosity, wonder, and undoing make for fresh. Make for aliveness. Make for magic.
Oh, to live in that space all the time! But I don’t. I go blind. I close out and shut down. Too much. Cease to see the way the breeze makes the grasses dance.
Then there’s December, the long, endless buffer between Thanksgiving and the new year. I fall into the month with a small chip on my shoulder. A little Scrooge in my heart and a drag to my step. I don’t know what to do with myself. I don’t celebrate Christmas, nor do I have a replacement tradition. And New Year’s Eve American style is noise, alcohol and more noise. Not an attitude that is yeasty for aliveness.
Hence December Undoing. Time to unrut and refresh. Time to flap my mind in the wind, like a bedsheet fresh off the clothesline and see what December can look like all turned inside out. Time to step into traveler mind, become a cantilevered tourist in my own home town. Time for a new do. Time to see adventure in the most mundane. Walk around inside of curiosity and wonder.
So I tried it out. On Friday evenings, I drive to a friend’s house for dinner. It takes me thirty to forty minutes to drive three miles. I fight the traffic the whole way. Gun my engine through a yellow light, snap change lanes to inch up two cars, brake, gas, brake hoping to make the light. Last Friday night, instead of trying to zip ahead, I practiced being where I was. I focused my attention on the tires of my car as they went round and round on the asphalt road. I thought about the air in the tires that kept them buoyant, kept me rolling forward. There I was in my car, bouncing up and down, on tires filled with air that were spinning round and round. Patting the ground as they turned. It made me happy. That’s crazy, right. Me and my car and the tires and the air in the tires. And then there I was, parking in front of my friend’s house. Thirty-five minutes. Like always. But not at all like always.
I’m super excited about December. It has the makings of a big adventure!