It’s the 31st December 1900, and the English writer Thomas Hardy is not looking forward to the new century. In his poem ‘The Darkling Thrush’, he describes the wintery landscape as the ‘Century’s corpse outleant’, the wind is the ‘death lament’, and every spirit on earth seemed ‘fervourless’ as himself. Suddenly he is jolted out of his gloomy reverie by the bright and ‘full-hearted’ song of a frail and gaunt thrush. It comes so out of the blue, seems so unconnected with what he’s been experiencing, that Thomas Hardy sees the ‘happy good-night air’ of the bird as a sign of ‘blessed Hope’.
The time is 5.30 pm, and I’m sitting in heavy traffic at a red light. It hasn’t been a great day at work, and when I get home, I’ll have to spend a few more hours at the computer catching up on admin. I’m in no mood for the cars pressing in around me, the smog, the thumping stereo of the ute behind. And then I look up and see a group of black cockatoos, flying with their slow, distinctive majestic wing beats towards the nearby bushlands. It is a moment of magic, of delight, of feeling connected to nature in the midst of peak hour traffic.
It’s the day after 9/11, and everyone is walking around looking stunned. Continue reading “Mindfulness moments” »