Last week, I attended a “Power of Words” conference on the coast of Maine, surprisingly hot and muggy. The range of workshops–from improvisation to poetry as medicine–revealed new paths to the potential of the arts to bring about peace, justice, well-being and community.
Yet it was not until doing a walking meditation that I knew what I was looking for. The heat broke just as we started to walk, bringing in cool air and rain. My feet settled into the soft pine needles in the garden where we strolled. A small ground hog peeked out from under a garden shed. The late summer herbs and flowers haphazardly spilled into my way. The tension of sitting in workshops, absorbing new information, withstanding the heat and interacting with others gave way to silence, sensory satisfaction, and seeing–in a new way. My body told me what I was seeking–unstructured time in nature.
Too much of my time is spent indoors. Carefully manicured lawn and gardens surround our condo. Sounds of surrounding traffic, my printer spitting out pages, and the ringing phone detract from what should be a quiet environment (I work at home).
Returning home, I explored nearby Waterworks Park. Although the entrance welcomes visitors with a fountain and flower gardens, the back reaches are delightfully wild by comparison.
Ironically, at this Power of Words conference, my body’s own sense and inner wisdom provided the greatest lesson.