Is it just me?
I hate to rush. It drives me bonkers. In my estimation, I have a really high threshold for stress. But rushing rattles my nerves. Once I’m rattled, it’s hard to chill down. We end up getting where we’re going in the long run. And, I might have developed a reputation for being late. But nobody I know would call me unreliable. You can count on me to show up at your play, your opening, your performance-art weirdness, and clap the loudest, rain or shine. Sometimes it’s like Hell for me getting out the door, though. I just hate to rush. The pressure to rush sometimes has the power to shut me down. I can’t move. Or I botch my makeup, run my tights, break a glass, or break a bone. Rushing just isn’t healthy for me.
So, the reason I’m thinking about rushing is, just this morning, I had to rush to make it to a class that ended up getting cancelled. I missed the memo, which was the most fortuitous twist of fate I’ve experienced in a long time.
Because Blue Hill at Stone Barns is jaw-droppingly beautiful. I had the place—80 acres of a working farm, market, and café—virtually to myself. It was misty, and T-storms were predicted, but we were coincidentally always under a barn or shed when isolated showers fell. We toured on foot, frolicking in mist-shrouded forests and fields, discovering pastures of cows (with calves!) and sheep (with lambs!) and conversing with the local fauna in their languages (“Moo, baa, la la la”). Unfortunately, a screw came loose on our expensive stroller, so I couldn’t jog the well-groomed paths.
This was the best experience for Adela, and a rare, behind-the-scenes glimpse of a place mostly known for its top-tier restaurant. And I mean, top the world over. Here it’s called “The most important and gutsiest restaurant in America.”
My friend Stacy wrote: “It’s beautiful there, right?? Have u ever eaten in the restaurant?? It is AMAZING!! We went there for our 5yr anniversary and by far the best meal and service we have ever had!!!!”
As I write from the café while torrential rains keep us hostage here, a man tightens all the screws on all the cafe chairs. This place is impeccably maintained, and its staff is so amiable, I just want to live here. I happened to check the café chairs and they took a square Allen wrench. I asked the gentleman if he had an octagonal Allen wrench. Sure enough, he went to get his tool chest and fixed the stroller! How much luck can I receive in one day?
This post is about finding your bliss. Given unlikely turns in events, take a deep breath, inhale the air that surrounds you, and, as you exhale, plan to be spontaneous, flexible like a reed, and receptive to both the obvious and the hidden beauty in all places.
Please: Especially if you know me: Read the following quote from my hero, Ralph Waldo Emerson. This quote embodies both my day today and my life. I couldn’t have written my own credo better than this, it resonates with me so. Tell me what you think:
“To speak truly, few adult persons can see nature. Most persons do not see the sun. At least they have a very superficial seeing. The sun illuminates only the eye of the man, but shines into the eye and the heart of the child. The lover of nature is he whose inward and outward senses are still truly adjusted to each other; who has retained the spirit of infancy even into the era of manhood. His intercourse with heaven and earth becomes part of his daily food. In the presence of nature a wild delight runs through the man, in spite of real sorrows. Nature says – he is my creature, and maugre all his impertinent griefs, he shall be glad with me. Not the sun or the summer alone, but every hour and season yields its tribute of delight; for every hour and change corresponds to and authorizes a different state of the mind…
In the woods, too, a man casts off his years, as the snake his slough, and at what period soever of life is always a child. In the woods is perpetual youth. Within these plantations of God, a decorum and sanctity reign, a perennial festival is dressed, and the guest sees not how he should tire of them in a thousand years. In the woods, we return to reason and faith. There I feel that nothing can befall me in life – no disgrace, no calamity (leaving me my eyes), which nature cannot repair. Standing on the bare ground – my head bathed by the blithe air and uplifted into infinite space – all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or parcel of God. The name of the nearest friend sounds then foreign and accidental: to be brothers, to be acquaintances, master or servant, is then a trifle and a disturbance. I am the lover of uncontained and immortal beauty. In the wilderness, I find something more dear and connate than in streets or villages. In the tranquil landscape, and especially in the distant line of the horizon, man beholds somewhat as beautiful as his own nature.
The greatest delight which the fields and woods minister is the suggestion of an occult relation between man and the vegetable. I am not alone and unacknowledged. They nod to me, and I to them. The waving of the bows in the storm is new to me and old. It takes me by surprise, and yet is not unknown. Its effect is like that of a higher thought or a better emotion coming over me, when I deemed I was thinking justly or doing right.
Yet it is certain that the power to produce this delight does not reside in nature, but in man, or in a harmony of both.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Nature”