I don’t have time to be mindful, not now when I’m racing around, already late, and the zip on the backpack just got stuck and when I tugged it, it broke. And I’m running upstairs to look for another, then can’t think what I went for, so have to come back down. And my friend will be outside her house by now, checking her watch, looking down the road, thinking next time she’ll go on her own.
Out the window the ash tree, lit up and golden, tossing in the wind. ‘Yes, yes,’ I say, ‘you’re lovely, but not now. I don’t have time to go slow, pause, breathe, get some perspective, drink in your beauty, all that.’
And yet what if my friend doesn’t mind, is glad of a few extra minutes? Can I let her do her thing, while I do mine? Perhaps all that needs to be here is this body moving fast.
I turn, see the backpack. ‘Ah, that was it.’ Thank you, head. And now it’s the turn of the rest of me. Dropping down through my jaw, throat, shoulders, down the elevator shaft of my body. Jogging through the living room. Thudding up the stairs. Air rushing in. Emptying as happiness. I feel like a kid again, running just to run.
And now my body knows to slow. Fingers move precisely, checking the soft hiss and slide of zips. And still I can go up to my head to ask, ‘Do I have everything? Oh, a face mask,’ and off I go again, and all of it now just movement and play.
Outside, the ash tree is nodding, and the jackdaws are tumbling, playing in the wind, and the wind is playing with the jackdaws, tossing, flinging, strewing them across the sky and catching them again.