To survive in difficult times, I search for things in my environment to focus on and become mindful about. I can stare at the trees in my neighborhood for a few hours. I watch the birds come and go, send out a few bird calls to the cardinals and blue jays, and observe the sparrows on the ground trying to find something to eat. I notice the rich, red coat of the cardinal and the black markings on his face. I see the blue jay causing a ruckus with his ill temper and he tries to cause a fight with the cardinals. When things calm down, I see the wild rabbits across the street very carefully take slow hops across the grass to find something to eat. They look plump and twitch their noses at me sitting on the porch. They never seem to be frightened of me. I call out a good morning to them and I swear that I see them chuckling to themselves as they gaze at me.
I watch the clouds drift across the sky and I am lost in their soft billowy shape, texture and color. My eyes close for a time. I feel the cool wind touch my face with a finger-like touch and the rays of the sun bathe my body with warmth and light. I have an overwhelming urge to go to sleep and spend the day outdoors.
The wind becomes stronger and the bare trees begin to sway in this wonderful slow dance that causes the heartbeat to slow and the breath catch in my throat. Trees of many shapes and colors surround me in sunlight. I get up and go down the street and I am mesmerized by their movement back and forth.
I touch the bark of a sycamore tree and notice the smoothness of the skin-like bark. I stand with my hands against the tree and I feel its strength flooding my body and spirit. I talk to it gently, and let it know I am grateful for its shade in the spring and summer months. I tell the tree I like the shape of its leaves, the way the branches move in the wind. I encourage it to survive the winter. I hug the tree and close my eyes and feel that we are one. I thank the tree for giving me strength as my ancestors did long ago. I pick up acorns underneath the oak trees reveling in their different shapes and sizes. I stick them in my pocket as I head home, feeling my fingers gently rub their smooth surfaces. I feel I am one with everything: trees, rabbits, clouds, birds, sky, sun, and wind. Every thing else seems small in comparison. I feel I am a part of the universe,and every thing I touch is a part of God.