Most days, my mind is a bird. It flits & flutters, alighting on a thought often for barely a moment before taking wing again. I have more ideas than I know what to do with, & I wake up with more every morning. It gets crowded in this brain of mine, so I make lists in an attempt to give my thoughts a bit of breathing room. Then my mind is cluttered with lists, which feels somewhat more reassuring, a gaggle of ideas clinging to common threads like so many preschoolers tethered together for a walk in the sun. They are noisy & demanding, but at least I know where they are.
My hands move like birds, as well. They have to, to keep up with my thoughts. I multi-task like no other, especially on Mondays when I’m wedging in some soap time before my day job starts. Mix, blend, stir, pour, always planning 4 steps ahead so I don’t lose a moment. It is a dance, with myself as partner. Mind & hands awhirling, I fly.
But then, there are mornings like this, when the planets align just so & I find my mind calm & still. The bird is perched high in the hedge, moving gently in the spring breeze, content to stay for a moment. These are the times when I tend the proverbial soil & immerse myself in those methodical tasks that usually get pushed aside in favor of more shiny pursuits.
This morning, I rooted myself at the sink & scrubbed out molds. It is basic, manual labor, but one of the tasks most essential to my work. Without the canvas, the painter is lost, & so would I be without clean, dry wells in which to cast my soaps. As I passed mold after mold under the warm water, sloughing away the remnants of my weekend’s work, I let my mind be swept clear as well. Rather than the usual cacophonous chatter of to-do lists, I held in my thoughts the rush of the water, the whisper of the breeze, & the deep bass rumble that roots me to the universe. I remembered to breathe, and suddenly, Monday rolled over like a kitten…