Kiss of the First Monsoon Rain


As the sun peers over the horizon it paints a pink blush with its dismay.  It’s discovered the first monsoon rain playing shamelessly over the land, racing unfettered with the wind.  It dances and leaps in sheets ringing with joyful laughter as it patters over stones and guffaws out of rain pipes.  Celebrating temporary dominion over the relentless dust of summer, it calls the sleeping from their beds to enjoy its cool perfumed kiss.

 

This is a form of mindful writing called a “small stone”.  You can learn about it and read my other Small Stones here.

Two Little Soldiers and Red Glove Rain


The barks of a mother overhead announce the dropping of gloves left behind like thunder precludes the rain.  Two small boys stand in the guilt and dust as tiny red gloves flutters to the ground from a fourth-floor balcony.  Dressed in little gentleman suits and already-crooked ties, their usual enthusiasm is neatly bridled.  Neither tries to catch them.  The gloves land on the ground with a puff as more mother-barks hammer down like hail.  The now-not-so-red gloves are snatched up and quickly stuffed into a pocket to be forgotten again.  History, as they say, inevitably repeats itself.

Shifting cumbersome backpacks they begin their trek to the gate with the snail’s pace of old men.  The conversation is equally glum.  No giggles or sticking out of tongues; just somber expressions and an occasional nod.  The weight of the day ahead chokes out even the gleeful anticipation of the rollicking race home when it’s over.  The bus arrives with a squeak of brakes and two little soldiers trudge off to war.

A small stone in River of Stones entry.

Copyright Jean Mishra 2012

Head TV


Tuning in.  Head TV is airing and blaring 100 different programs again, simultaneously on the tv screen.  I try to watch intently a miasma of commercial messages, melodramas, documentaries, thrillers, comedies, sci fi.  My eyes dart from one to the other and back again.  Sound bites blaring.  Colors colliding.  Ear and eye madness.  I desperately try to focus on one channel looking for inspiration, but it’s deafening; impossible.  Reruns!  Exasperated.  I want to turn it off but there’s no “off” button.  This mind TV can’t be unplugged!  I wheel the thing into the other room and close the door, ignoring it.  Peace at last.  I’ll watch it later.  Maybe.

A small stone in River of Stones entry.

Copyright Jean Mishra 2012

Yesterday Fields


Revisiting an old song dusted off.  Memories of memories wafting from vinyl to MP3, never changing.  Summer days, younger days, carefree running in the sun days of butterfly fields and fishing poles.  A woman taming her child-wildness dancing with those full moon nights.  Hair and heart never tied, flying free, catching in the wind.  Watching her running those wild yesterday fields, I close my eyes.

A small stone in River of Stones entry.

Copyright Jean Mishra 2012

Button Pushing and Word Rockets


Clickety clackety keys on my keyboard chatter merrily away.  Firing expressive word-rockets off into the ethers like little silver launching pads; I know not where they land.  Some will be deleted, shuttled off into the word-void underworld when no longer interesting.  Others will remain inside search engine temples patiently awaiting discovery until the end of time.  With reverence I scrape a crumb from the “B.”

A small stone in River of Stones entry.

Copyright Jean Mishra 2012

Onion’s Revenge


Little onion sits on the counter, inconspicuous in papery skin and bits of dirt.  Unfortunately it has a role to play and it’s not a minor one.  The soup pot is waiting.  I help it off with its brittle dirty coat to expose its purple undershirt, all shiny and clean.  Then, I take a deep breath and lop off its stem-head and root.  I say my brief “sorry” but the soup can’t wait.  The knife begins its wicked dance evoking outrage burning my eyes.  In stinging tears the slices swim.  The knife slips and nicks my thumb.  Revenge.

A small stone in River of Stones entry.

Copyright Jean Mishra 2012

Finding Hidden Gems


Have you ever noticed the simplest and most obvious things are the hardest to see?  The more immersed we get in the daily grind, the more these simple things go unnoticed.  I know I’m so guilty of this.  Today I ran across a blog entry where someone wrote:

 “Nothing special happened today.” 

I felt her.  But then that little voice inside rang out.

“Are you sure nothing special happened today?  Did you really pay attention?”

Truth is, no I didn’t.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “special” as follows:

: distinguished by some unusual quality; especially : being in some way superior <our special blend>

So when we’re looking for something special to happen, we’re expecting something distinguishable from the usual stuff; something that shines a little happiness or excitement and yanks us out of the rut.  This is saying two things about our usual personal outlook:

  1.  We’ve already decided our life has no happiness or excitement.
  2. We’ve set the bar pretty high when it comes to “something special” happening.

No wonder we end up disappointed.  We already set the expectation for it.  I was expecting the heavens to open up with trumpets blaring and a big shiny “something” to drop out of the sky all for my delight.  Sound silly?  It is.

The truth is we’re swimming in a sea of special somethings.  They’re all around us.  They’re just too subtle, too simple, too obvious to see.  We walk right over them blinded by bigger expectations.

How do we find these elusive “somethings?”  Mindfulness.  This may not be a term you’re familiar with.  It has its roots in Buddhist philosophy but you don’t have to be a Buddhist to understand it or use it.  To be mindful quite literally means to be inclined to be aware.

We think we are aware, but stop and ponder how much is there we’re not aware of?  Truth is, a lot.  How many of us woke in the morning and noticed the birds singing despite the cold bleakness outside the window?  How many took a moment to appreciate the bliss of that first sip of coffee and how it warmed us?  As we greeted our neighbors, did we notice the beauty of their smile or the happiness meant just for us in the wagging tail of a dog?

If we can just shift our awareness slightly to the more subtle things around us, become more mindful, we’ll suddenly find all our days overflowing with special somethings.

Some of my regular readers know I’ve been participating in a daily creative writing exercise in mindfulness.  It’s been an amazing and rewarding experience in guiding me to be more aware of all special somethings I take for granted.  It’s called River of Stones.  What it encourages is noticing a little something you might otherwise take for granted and really examine it.  Appreciate it.  Then write about it.  That’s all there is to it.  What you end up with is a little piece called a small stone.  I post mine here daily.  I encourage you to visit the Writing Our Way Home blog where the River of Stones originates.  It’s a beautiful place.

When this month ends I’ll continue to write them.  It’s become part of a spiritual practice reminding me daily that happiness is found inside me in how I view the world.  It’s not something that haphazardly falls from the sky and announces “this is special.”  Everything is special if you have the ability to see it.

If you want to find these hidden gems for yourself, try this small stone exercise.  You don’t have to have any gift with words to do it.  It’s really for no one but you.  I know it changed everything for me.  If I had one wish for the world, it would be that it embraces mindfulness.  I think it would be a much different existence, but then I’m an idealist.

Midnight Conversation


The night is as still as deep water with no kiss of breeze.  Only the rhythmic sleeping breath of the darkness brushes ever so slightly against the ear.  Then beyond the gate, the tolling bark of a street dog rings.  Its voice echoes among the sleeping concrete honeycombs, seeking specific ears.  Then an expectant hush.  A stray voice punctuates the night in kind, distantly; a reply.  Ever so faintly, another joins.  The ritual conversation has begun; a secret society moonlit meeting.  Only the night knows the affair .

A small stone in River of Stones entry.

Copyright Jean Mishra 2012

Retreat of the Beast


Nightmares descend sinking saber teeth into slumbering emotions; a merciless mauling in the dark.  Blanket warmth escaped, fled for nowhere.  The lid has been torn off.  Blind-sided.  Burning tears splash.  Cold air mocks at fear-dewed skin.  A sudden touch pierces like a flaming sunbeam, lighting the way home.  Falling, tumbling into the safety of a loving embrace, the beast retreats back into its cave.

A small stone in River of Stones entry.

Copyright Jean Mishra 2012

Timeless Specter


A  heron glides soundless through the morning mist like a timeless specter; a study in grays.  Wings caress the air once, twice, thrice.  The air holds its breath in reverence.  Silence is the only witness.

A small stone in River of Stones entry.

Copyright Jean Mishra 2012