I used to worry.
What will the neighbours think
if I do tai chi in the garden?
This summer I tried it.
What a gift,
being present outdoors
at the end of the day.
the wind in the trees,
flowers, bats, hedgehogs, owls,
the moon, clouds, rain,
the setting sun,
a scattering of stars,
mars, even saturn
have been part of my practice this summer.
Who cares what the neighbours think!
‘Isn’t this hot weather amazing’ I say.
‘We will pay for it later’ you reply,
as if nothing good can happen
without a bill being presented.
means suffering ahead.
But what about all the storms
we’ve already weathered?
Don’t they count,
like money in the bank?
I am taking this hot summer,
banking little pieces of
happiness, scents and sounds.
Memories to unfold later,
to be viewed through the glasses of age,
rose tinted or otherwise.
I will save up some of these rays
and let them warm my future self.
I will not live my life in debt,
with good times bought on credit.
Instead I will believe
that I deserve happiness now.
A blessing and a curse
this vivid imagination
conjuring up so many pleasant daydream worlds,
and paintings, stories, poems, music.
Allowing me to put myself in another’s shoes,
Enabling me to imagine the worse possible catastrophic outcome
for any situation I find myself in.
My body doesn’t know
that the stories in my head are not real,
and responds with pleasure, excitement, fear, dread, anxiety,
feeling it all, deeply.
And it takes a strong rational act of will to calm down,
to find a way back into the here and now.
Leaving the world of the imagination is not easy.
A blessing, and a curse.