Crane’s Eye View
This seed, this seed, this seed; this weed this weed; this plant, this little life in my hand, this moment… On and on throughout my day I am present with exactly what is before me. I am striving to hold each moment as sacred in my work on this organic farm, gently reminding myself when stray thoughts take me away from that. My intention is to be prayerful for the food that will grow and feed many families.
Yet the redundancy of actions filling my window has been taking me further from myself. I get so focused on the work that I forget. Sometimes I begin working too fast, trying to get things done in a shorter amount of time. Other times I don’t use good body mechanics and find myself straining. Far too often I forget to appreciate the beauty of the world around me, the loamy soil in my hands, the sun, the cloud, the breeze, my co-workers. I forget to feel into the experience. I am dog tired at the end of a day of expending focused physical energy; muscles aching, thoughts on indulgence, emotions flat, uninspired. I want to drink a beer, eat too much, blob out. None of which does much to serve my desire for wellness and wholeness, nor my desire to live a spiritual life.
When I am only present in moment-to-moment focus of the task at hand, I all too easily lose awareness of my larger purpose.
The other day I was engaged in “this seed, this seed, this seed” work when I heard the farm manager gasp and say, “SANDHILL!” The entire field crew, 8 of us, immediately stopped our work and looked up. There it was, flying right over the field, a mere 80 feet or so above us. Yes, this is Sandhill Crane territory; yes, this is mating season; yes, we see them pretty regularly. But there is something spectacular about this huge bird with its prehistoric-sounding calls and great wing span (up to 7 feet). It’s shy nature and habit of soaring high in the air on thermals means that we don’t often see one up close. A fly-over like this was pretty rare at the farm and really got our attention.
We settled back to work, but my attention was now split. As I often do after experiencing a “chance” encounter with another being, I found myself considering the possibility of a message from the crane. I began pondering the “crane’s-eye view” of things. What a wide perspective this high-flyer has; a view for miles in every direction. The crane reminded me that, though I have a task at hand and the desire to be in sacred presence with that task, I am also in the picture. The wider view includes me, not only my needs for self care but also a soft awareness that whispers gently, persistently, of my wider purpose.
The crane has spoken and my soul has heard. I am tuning in to the gentle voice that brings a broader perspective to my focus; listening to my heart, pacing myself, checking my body mechanics. I am structuring my after work time. Instead of just numbing out, I am giving thanks for all of the gifts I received throughout the day, especially the ones that I remembered to give myself. Taking time for some good food and exercise, appreciating the beauty of nature and often a beautiful sunset, expressing my creativity, these do wonders for my spirit. The wider picture, with me in it, is feeling so much more complete! Blessed be the journey…
This post was written by Lucinda Sohn