America seems to play musical chairs in the summer. For Sale signs bloomed with the April flowers, and now the streets are packed with moving vans. Our move is only to a neighboring town, and I thought the local nature of the move would result in localized stress instead of long-distance anxiety. Hah!
Before I return to the world of bubble wrap, here are the five calming techniques that I reach for in moments of panic:
1) La Boheme
2) Deep, focused breathing
Favorite poems are part of my personal scriptures, with lines dancing into my head when I need them most. Today, it was this poem that surfaced, for whatever reason — and since my new home has a backyard, I’ll soon pay attention to the grasshopper. That’s the hope I’m holding on to, at least!
The Summer Day
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean–
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down–
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?