I just came in from a long day of working outside. I am trying to build an extension of our front door porch to connect with porch on the north side. It took its toll today. The weather was hot, around 90 degrees, with humidity.
Part of getting started was leveling the ground. I began to dig with a shovel, cut roots with a pick and fill up my lawn tractor trailer with the debris. There were several times when I uncovered an Earthworm. It’s always interesting the reaction to their world being turned upside down, foundations being taken away, an unknown force destabilizing what, moments before, seemed solid and dependable. If it was a spider, a mouse, or a snake, most often the reaction is to run away, find another place of safety and solace. Not the Earthworm. The Earthworm immediately starts burrowing deeper. It doesn’t abandon its home, instead it intuitively digs further down.
Wisdom teaches us to be like the Earthworm. Trust your foundations. When life comes and turns everything upside down, strips away what we hold dear. Instead of panicking, looking for something else to put our faith in, allowing the forces of this world to bring its chaos into our very hearts, dig deeper and know you can’t reach the bottom of grace and love.
I’ve been thinking about my friend who I wrote an article on last week. The cute little varmint who’s been tearing up my lawn with his sharp claws and pointy snout. I haven’t seen him in a few days but if my dog’s constant sniffing is any indication he’s been in the area excavating for more grubs.
As I reflect upon the armadillo and his keen awareness of what he’s searching for I wonder if we can be so invested in what we want that we miss other things? Can we be so completely focused on what we’re doing, fully invested in the need of the moment, that we are left vulnerable?
The day I spied the prehistoric bug and worm eater I made several noises to try to get him to stop digging but he never heard me. I honked my truck horn and slammed the door several times before he became antsy and eventually sauntered away. Could I have snuck up on him? Could I have hurt or captured him if so desired? Was he so engrossed in the task he was oblivious to all else?
What is the difference in being mindful, fully in the present and being so focused on what we’re doing that we become unmindful?
Perhaps the difference is all the difference. When our attention is our appetite, needs and wants, what we believe is required to be happy, content, satisfied, we are only capable of scratching the surface.
It is when we dig deeper, past the exterior and into the seldom explored interior that we feed body, mind and spirit. When these three are nurtured all we do, each moment, will be infused with greater significance and we become mindfully aware of all that surrounds us.