Here Comes Winter


The woman who just walked into the coffee shop looks familiar. Why is that, I think. Do I know her?

I don’t, but her army green raincoat is almost exactly like mine. Her hair is short, bob-like style, fine hair, like mine.

She’s not me. She’s like me.

It reminds me of the mindfulness story I wrote, how one of the mindfulness teachers says that using the phrase “just like me” helps us navigate the world in a less stressful way. Instead of putting up walls, we see how someone else is a bit like us. That girl acting slightly crazy because her backpack broke? She’s just like me. I react with emotion to annoying circumstances.

Right now I’m reacting pretty well. Because I biked for almost 30 minutes on the bike trainer this morning and 9 of those minutes were spent listening to a guided mediation. I pictured a tree growing out of my spine. Of course I pictured the Japanese maple tree that used to grace our front yard. Well, it kind of still does because it’s growing back even though we had to chop it down. That sturdy tree will not die. Its sturdy trunk lives insides of me. The roots go down into this great green-brown-blue earth. Do you see the red leaves sprouting out of me? How they fall to the wet ground right now, whipped by the late fall winds. When winter comes, my leaves will be gone. I’ll seek substance where no one lives. Pull sweet strength from these dark days. What other choice do I have?

That’s blogging for you. I start with a woman who looks “just like me.” Then suddenly winter is fast approaching and I’m a tree, preparing for something that mimics hibernation in my mind. How will you wait for the sun to be closer to your branches once again? What feeds your strong center?

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