It’s a lovely morning. Cool without being chilly. The sound of birdsong is carried over the meadow on flower scented breezes. The apartment begins to cool off quickly. I sip my coffee and wonder why I am anxious, without really digging at it ferociously…more a gentle sort of “Huh, that’s peculiar…” sort of a thing.

Beginnings are not all the same.

I slept restlessly, but I did get the rest I need. It’s a very short work week, since I have Memorial Day off, but also had planned my first camping trip of the year for next weekend. This “short week” is the likely source of my anxiety; there is still the same amount of work to do. I’m excited about my camping trip. I am overdue for really getting away, setting everything down, and taking my ease for a couple of days of unrestricted leisure out among the trees. I find that the same time spent at home doesn’t work out to quite the same result as time spent out there, surrounded by trees and plants, no device connection, and plenty of quiet time to meditate, to read, to hike, to sketch.

I sometimes find myself anxious out among the trees. My results vary there too. There’s no escape when it hits, it has to be mastered in some way, or at least endured until it passes. It always does pass. It is a lesson in beginning again. It is a lesson, sometimes in a literal way, in “turning the page” on my own narrative and resuming things just a bit further on. I have resorted, even, to simply writing “I am anxious in this moment”, then actually physically turning the page in my notebook or journal, and continuing to write. Sometimes this obvious trickery works. lol Most of the time it doesn’t, but peculiarly even in those moments when it doesn’t work so well, I still find comfort in turning the page on my anxiety.

Anxious moments are pretty horrid. They do come up with fair frequency, even now. The change, mostly, seems to have been that they no longer just grow and grow until they take over my entire experience, backing me into a corner, making me small. They remain, generally, moments. This is a bigger deal than words convey.

I look my anxiety this morning in the face with some wonder; it neither gets worse nor gets better to be so frankly acknowledged. In this moment, it merely exists. I breathe. Check my posture. Gaze out at the lovely meadow as the sun rises. Sip my coffee. Again notice the anxiety. Another deep cleansing breathe. The softness of the meadow breeze on my skin creates a smile that tugs at my face, competing with my anxiety for my attention. I yield to the smile, noticing the precious breeze. I keep at it, observing the simple delights of the morning one by one, between deep full un-rushed breaths. My anxiety begins to recede, initially as a peculiarly tidal experience, at first coming and going, coming and going, with my breathing. Over minutes it fades into the background altogether. If this were a bound paper journal, this would be the point at which I would turn the page…

It’s time to begin again. 🙂