Lately, I have been doing different kinds of mind activities, you know the kind – brain draining logic kinds of games. Stretch the brain till it hurts. Ones that frustrate you to no end. But you do them anyway. LOL. So I have got into the habit of ‘cheating’….alleviating the sense of how can I be so not smart. Sorry Lord, but I have and I know it is Lent!! But almost to the finish line. I did not give up ‘cheating’. But I’ll think of not giving up so easily. Okay?? It’s just that, well, I mean they put the answers in the back of the booklet for goodness sakes and my fingers do the walking. Quite frankly I am glad they do. Because honestly having checked my wee small brain with the one who made up these particular ‘good for the mind’ games, my eyes go crossed eyed. I even went to a thesaurus when doing a crossword puzzle to check to see if the clue and crossword word matched. Unfortunately yes. Yet, it is dp funny how your brain wanders to one place and the word can mean something entirely different, almost too much of a stretch at times.
Speaking of Lent, hopefully it has been a generous amount of time over the past few weeks for reflection, walking in the desert so to speak, removing or staying things that have been a distraction of sorts in the long stretches of your life. Yes there is also the part of giving up something or taking on something, a discipline of sorts, for forty days. I did not give up or take on but settled into what I already have. Which is more than enough to dwell upon. And well, I love fish on Fridays for sure (not the fishy kind mind you. Not even for Lent will I take on fishy fish. Sorry.). Searching for the calm in the deep pits and crevices we struggle through, there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon. Maybe it has to do with the timing of Lent and spring…new birth, rebirth, fresh feel to the day. Excitement even with the masks. The journey of self-discovery of the pause in one’s life and seeking deeper meaning to what life is all about I think happens wondrously. Reflecting has got to be one of the most powerful gifts to give oneself, decluttering the heart and soul within. I am so grateful right now because my walks have moved or returned to the shores and cliffs nearby. Feel so much closer to God, me, and my wandering thoughts.
Now with the change in daylight, the warmth in the air, the smells (yes even cow dung), the delightful patches of colour, and low and behold the time for dying and rebirth as Holy Week closes to open Easter season invigorating our hopes. Marking a holy moment of gratitude with one lit candle touched by another to bring light to a new path, new beginning. Oh yes Lent, you have done your due diligence for me these past weeks…getting my mind to pay attention. Hence mind games to fine tune an instrument that needs a bit of a stir. I know I know, logic head games or scrabble (yes me and myself playing against each other. Guess who wins?) are not quite a Lenten practice but hey I am a work in progress.
I feel this keen stirring within me to get the fire lit, a burning desire to grab life by the horns and run with it. It could be the excitement I feel as the physical presence of barrenness and worn blanket of winter white sheds its layering to hints of delight. There is a lightness in my step that almost makes me want to burst free but of course, I will probably fall on my face. Yes. These old legs have been a walkin’, not a runnin’. Hahaha. Have you ever tried that. Face plant is not my thing. Thankfully I have two grandchildren who are under two. So I have to build up to the run. The only catch is my grandson who is 10 1/2…I’ll have to practice discretely. Yeah me. But really there is such a desire to get to work on the whole enchilada….me.
So working on the mind, body and spirit….with mostly the mind lately. I think the spiritual part is always being fine tuned in gratitude and love that I receive gratefully and with promise from those that I love and come into my life giving me a bit of themselves to me. Now the burst of energy seeping through my bones is getting to be livelier. My feet were really moving today even though it was overcast and fog coming in over the water off the northshore, I was stepping in time. LOL, I am thinking of Dick Van Dykes song from Mary Poppins’ Step In Time. How my mind works I will never know? Hey there is another thing helping my mind. Texting. I have to say thank you to the people who set up the ability on phones, computers, tablets etc with programs or apps to allow you to ‘chat’. Although I have not mastered the two digit texting on phone or tablet like my daughters. I am really good at one finger. Oh my, my old typing teacher would have a fit…tap my fingers when I stray off and look at typewriter. Those were the good old days. I remember that rule – “two hands, two feet, if not no beat”. Beat? What do the feet have to do with the hands? Oh yes, sit up straight. Beat. Rhythm. Oh yes. How one forgets!! Hahaha.
The gift of sharing and chatting with others in whatever form or whatever way, gets the mind active. Sometimes I cannot express my thoughts fast enough as I connect to one thing and they are already going off on another. That reminds me of Messenger and Google Hangout – timing of conversation does not fit the comment they just sent. Even on cell phone. I guess when you have so much to say to one another…well let’s just say slow down. There is Lent all over again. Pause and breathe. Sometimes I think people in general are not comfortable with the quiet. Need to fill in the space.
Why the mind lately? I have once again been thinking of my mom and even my dad. We say we have senior moments. Everyone, young or old can have them. But with my mom walking with dementia that is a whole other kettle of fish. Dad gets mad at himself because he cannot remember. He says it began when he had to carry a little note pad and paper when he worked the floor at the plant. It went down hill from then in memory? I do not think so dad. You had way too much to remember for goodness sake. Is there a connection between an active mind, staying active and dementia. I do not know. Certainly music is a big thing that brings the heart to the mind, generously and wondrously moving. But I also discovered that when you talk about her passions, remember them, her eyes light up. Might not be many words but something is jogging and best thing….most beautiful mom smile.
So spring, I am giving and praising you for the kick start to my days lately. I sat outside on my deck (just pulled the Muskoka chairs out from the shed) and enjoyed my crosswords. Not going to bring scrabble out because it is too windy and hey, the birds may think these little wooden things are to munch on. No thanks. But also to thank you for opening up the woods for my granddaughter and me; she is a hoofing her. Now that she can walk in her new rubber boots, we are going places. The woods is her oyster. Her mind is in full gear, grabbing on to words as she repeats what I talk about in what we are doing….love it. She stops all of a sudden because she hears the birds….not that horrible movie The Birds….no the big crows that yak and caw constantly. Her head goes up when she hears their sounds, spots them and starts to imitate their call. I teared up as she raised her arms up to talk with them. Precious. Yesterday we got out of the truck when I picked her up as I have to park at top near the road due to soft clay dirt and permafrost; she sees overhead a gaggle of geese flying above us. Oh my what a sight! She waves at them as they fly by in their perfect vee. Wow!
Paired with her abundance of being a sponge and taking it all in, she has a brother who just keeps me hoppin’ too. His mind is razor sharp and also filled with love for another human being. When he watches a movie, listens to a news story, or reads a piece from a book and tears up (no my grandson it is a beautiful heart you have) oh I want to scooch him forever. Amazing graced moment. He feels so strongly and does not miss a beat. Isn’t there a saying about little ears. Well his are fine tuning exponentially, thank you very much. He has this uncanny ability to take something and make it come alive. The way he articulates his thoughts, the way he finds words beyond his years, and uses them appropriately….nothing wrong with his mind. Well done parents.
I do realize that my mind like any other part of the body needs attention. Cannot neglect it as it is easy to do. You know when you put the milk in the cupboard (oops, hope not for long) or forgot to turn the stove off (not good, better not be far) or forgot your wallet (hope your not hungry) or forgot to close the window (flood insurance). You know things you do when you are in a hurry or busy. Just do not forget the kitty litter if you go on vacation. But the biggest one is a daily one, forgetting the names of people. I can remember a few times of a family member or a good friends, said their name a hundred times, do you think I could remember? Nah. Of course being in education there are so many students I taught and staff I worked with….after awhile you have to suck it up butter cup and just admit it. Honestly, we are human. Not great in a business deal mind you.
So food for thought if your mind is in a muddle, take up the piano or guitar, eat a strange or different foods, change your daily routine, do a puzzle or strategy game, read or write differently (not backwards but aloud or in poetry), do math for a gr. 5 (yeah that will get your heart pumping), learn a new language (pig latin or…), take a class (out of comfort zone), donate your time.
“If a cluttered desk is a sign of cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” Albert Einstein. Play scrabble. Blessings this day.
Let us pray for those who are in need of our prayers and for a healthy and active mind.