We must slow down, be alone, and listen if we are to meet the shadow self who keeps watch over the gateway to our true self.
For those of us who have lived in constant industry, whose perceived value lies in output, I can think of no greater achievement than to sit idly, in silence, by choice, and to marvel at nature and life.
I had walked the long walk out to Villa Lysis, far removed and isolated in the northeastern tip of Capri.
I was now sitting in perfect solitude on a bench in the gardens of this sublimely positioned palatial place. I picnicked simply on rice crackers dunked in Skippy peanut butter and soaked in the view of Marina Grande far, far below.
Without struggle or endeavor, I sat effortlessly for most of the afternoon. I did nothing. I thought nothing. Well, except I watched the wind. And I listened to it.
Wind filled the empty, cloudless sky and the boughs of the Italian stone pines lining the property. Swaying, whipping, bowing, leaping, the branches in perpetual motion.
I saw wind for the first time. I was deeply curious, keenly aware of invisible force, fascinated, pulled in by power unseen.
I don’t think there’s anything more delicious and satisfying to a recovering overworker than to sit and watch the wind. In fact, who better to appreciate the gift of the fullness of emptiness than those of us who are most empty by being so full?
Eyes open, watching the wind. Eyes closed.
Ears open, hearing the wind. Ears closed.
Eyes open, ears open.
Sensorial toggling, alternating between watching and listening to this unseen but deeply felt element of air in motion.
From my cubicle there was none but cool breeze manufactured to fend off the heat of all the summers I missed out on, or the updraft of a deep sigh emanating from the parted lips of a weary soul.
Here, from Capri, wide open to all the elements – from this arena – my spirit arose, freed at last.