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Posted By Opening the Heart


    This was the first summer in a long time that Ruthi and I were able to take two weeks vacation and we gratefully drove the 38 minutes from our Providence home to our favorite place on earth in Westport, Massachusetts to our tiny beach house on the east branch of the Westport River.
    Gerry, our friend and all-around handy wizard had just finished building us an outdoor shower and there was a small piece of lawn (about 6' by 4')  that needed reseeding. So I raked it up and planted some "fast-germinating" seed, sat back and waited. Not exactly waited. I watched the hummingbirds at the feeder on the deck, six feet from my chair. I watched the wind patterns on the river. I dug quohaugs with my toes at low tide. I went fishing. I read a lot (James Patterson murder mysteries and Doris Kearns Goodwin's Team of Rivals, about Abraham Lincoln). We took long walks on the beach with our dog, Fenway. We rode bikes, rode waves, picked blackberries and cooked fresh seafood.
    And then it happened. Five days after planting the seed, I went to check it in the morning and the slender silver-green threads were up. By that night they were a half inch high. Whenever I had heard the term "watching the grass grow", I think it was used in a context of implying boredom beyond words. Watching this grass grow was thrilling. In the early morning sun, through the trees, the new green beings of light were dappled, and, as some brief full sun came to them late morning, the patch turned a beautiful shade of lemon lime and it was impossible to resist running my hand over the hairs as delicate as a new baby's head. On the seventh morning I could see that the grasslings had grown a full inch from when I said good night to them.
    I looked up the word 'vacation' and read that it is a "period of rest and freedom from work". To 'vacate' is to make vacant or empty, unfilled. I felt very lucky and grateful in my life to be able to vacate busy, ordinary days in order to really experience extaordinary miracles like watching the grass grow.

1 Comment(s):
Judith Weiler said...
Beautiful, Jon. Thanks for the good writing. I remember sitting in the dining room at the insight meditation society in Barre, chewing each mouthful so slowly, tasting, feeling the texture and smelling the scents of my food, watching the birds at the feeder. Each moment expanded to fill a lifetime of wonder. You have reminded me of all this. No computers, no phones, no family, friends, clients. Just the mouthful and the birds forever, in that one precious moment of life.
September 12, 2009 02:47:30
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