Never a Dull Moment – Cultivating Being

I grew up in the country – in the suburbs of Ottawa; our back yard was an acre of pine trees, mud in the spring (mud is a very creative medium), piles of leaves in the fall (to jump into, to hide in and jump out of), and mountains of snow in the winter. It was a laboratory and a never-ceasing source of discovery: bird skulls, pine cones, visiting animals and never a dull moment.

There was a swing that I spent a great deal of time on– I would go into the back yard and swing and time would stop – I would climb to the top of my favourite pine tree and time would stop – I would jump on my bike and thread my way through the neighbourhood with no particular destination and time would stop ; I suppose that this kind of non-activity is inherent to children.

Each season brought it’s own delight. I have a deep nostalgia for snow still ; I would tell my mother « the wind is calling me » and I would get packed into my elaborate snow clothes. My mother says the worse part of winter was getting her 5 kids endlessly in and out of snow clothes : snow suits that zip and button and tuck from bottom to top, the mittens (we called them « mits » and they all had strings that joined them together and they were all hand-knitted), plus the scarves, the hats, the boots..

Now that I am living in France and snow where I live is a transitory visitation at best, I am surprised at times by my snow wistfulness. I miss the stuff. And everything that comes with it. As children, we would play for hours in it, making forts and tunnels, snow men, snow balls, angels on our backs in the snow, never a dull moment, our breaths like beacons of pulsating presence before our beaming faces.

The so-called yard was really a vast forest with high walls that our protective father had constructed to keep us in and to keep the world out. He wasn’t there much but he was protective – when the twins were toddlers he built an outdoor play area for them, visible from the kitchen window, surrounded by a white picket fence, with a pint sized obstacle course of mini-ladders and things to climb over and under and into. The twins had total, if relative, freedom to roam at will within this large enclosure (we called it « the twins’ corral ») – sometimes one of them would catch something, a grass snake or a toad, and we would have to save it from being crushed by their tiny, ferocious grip. Otherwise we were all safe in our ascending degrees of containers –  this was our world and it was a world full of discovery, change and … never a dull moment.

Dull is the opposite of Bright – a dull edge is an edge that is Blunt – a Bright edge is a sharp edge – like our imaginations as children, we are bright and sharp, and sparkle in the Light – 

This looking and seeing, being curious and just Being is an incredible gift. Cultivating it means keeping our senses open and not striving for anything in particular.

I remember reading about a famous photographer who would spend months and months planning a photo, researching the light, the situation, the angle, assembling  the technical ingredients and then at the final moment of consumption – would not take the picture.

I sometimes feel that life at best can be like that – if we can intentionally be putting out the welcome mat to each memorable picture, without grasping anything or framing anything – if we can be in this space of positive expectation that never consumes the moment, we can experience this state of awe and effortlessness – where there is never a dull moment. 

In this place, we might not choose to click and freeze the image. This quest to arrive somewhere is so ridden with pitfalls – how can we arrive anywhere when we are already there : here ?

Never a dull moment – and we only have moments after all, moment after moment.

This afternoon the first snowflakes of the winter here in Saint Suzanne in France wafted gently earthbound. Tonight there is nothing left of them.

About The Author

Elaine Rudnicki

Elaine is a Yoga Therapist C-IAYT, Certified Life Coach, creator of AWAKE Coaching®, Yoga and Meditation Teacher and MBSR Instructor.