There is a maple tree in front of my bedroom window. We planted it when we first moved into this house, almost thirty years ago. I’ve watched it grow into a beautiful, mature tree. This tree has been with me through a lot of life – through both joyful and challenging times. Each fall, it’s one of the last trees to turn, and when it does, it turns the most incredibly bright, vibrant red. When the light is just right, my entire bedroom is infused with a red glow from the tree.
Since there’s a window perch right in front of the tree, I have pictures of all my cats in front of the maple tree. The photo below ended up being on the cover of Buckley’s Story.
But for me, there’s more to this tree than just its beauty (and the joy of capturing my cat’s beauty with it as a backdrop). Every year, it serves as a reminder to be in the moment. I make it a point to take some time to truly enjoy the tree while it’s at peak color. I hope for sunny weather during those few days, because when the sun hits the tree just right in the afternoon, the color is magnificent. The tree’s beauty is fleeting: once it reaches its peak, the leaves are usually gone within another day or two.
I had a busy week with an absolutely insane to do list, but for a couple of afternoons, I dropped everything. I simply sat by my window for an hour in the middle of the afternoon, and soaked up the brilliant light of the tree.
And afterwards, I felt absolutely amazing. Allowing myself to take time, in the middle of a busy day, to do nothing without feeling guilty about it, was a wonderful experience. I felt grounded and peaceful.
Slowing down, and taking the time to do nothing without feeling guilty is something all my cats have taught me over the years. And every year, my maple tree reinforces the lesson.
Do you ever take the time to just be, without feeling guilty about it? Sunday is a good day to start this practice!