Jean Marie Gunner

Jean Marie Gunner
We are all basically good.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

This Is Reality

“This is reality, whether you like it or not.  All those frivolities of summer, the light and shadow, the living mask of green that trembled over everything, they were lies, and this is what was underneath.  This is the truth. It was as if we were being punished for loving the loveliness of summer."

Today after an early morning bike ride, chores, gardening, cleaning, I laid back on the grass with my feet splayed out before me on my front lawn, sweaty, smelling like earth and body and salt.  I felt each blade of grass prickle the back of my neck, tickling my arms and my legs.  I looked upon the earthly realm of flowers in my front bed, cosmos yet to bloom, with thoughts of pastel-painted columbine, and popcorn-shaped, multi-colored snap dragons strikingly radiant, and dianthus’ feminine feathery pink touch.  Oh, and the wind and the summer air caressing my skin.  The breeze can be seen as it moves through the rich plush burgundy velour of the Japanese maple; its leaves vacillating in color between purple and black and red, soft and luxurious and velvety.  The wind ever so slightly moves the tiny hairs on my arms and softly touches my face and cheeks and lips. 

The neighbor girls are sitting and reading their girl tales of gentle adventure, adventure with purpose, aware of the world around them.  That’s how we females approach life, knowing it can be taken in a moment.  Our bodies, our insides carry this awareness, the absolute knowing that we exist and are alive in this one moment and could be gone in the next. Our children are awake with this breath and their next exhale may be their last.

The girls ask me as naturally as they sit there and breathe, “Miss Jean, what are these chair for?” The ones I left baking on the hot asphalt of our driveway under a relentless summer sum.  And I respond, “Why for sitting of course.”  Without hesitation, doubt or delay, sensing that no permission was necessary to take a natural course of action, they sit down on these very chairs and read.  This is the precious world I live in.

I ask humbly for teachers.  I ask for my senses to be opened, for my heart to be softened.  As I lay here on the ground, I am filled with sensory experiences and a sense of profound gratitude for these simple moments in life.  The wonder of life all about me, flowers, trees, birds, clouds, sky, children, bees, plants, and my body willing to lay here and take it all in if only for a few moments. 

This is reality.

(Quote by Willa Cather from My Antonia)

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