This month’s focus has been on building the structure of my days. Habits toward health. Habits toward peace of mind. Energy. Well being.
This morning I got up earlier than usual to bake off two loaves of sour dough bread I’d left to rise overnight.
Tom, up even earlier, had already preheated the oven to 500 with four cast iron skillets in it, and all I had to do was gently pop in the risen loaves, score their tops, and invert a hot pan over them to catch the steam.
But the loaves wouldn’t have been there to bake off if I hadn’t worked the dough the day before, and given them the time they needed to rise.
And the rising loaves really began the day before that, when I mixed my starter with water and flour and left it to develop the yeast it needed to rise.
And the starter, the mother, a mix of water and flour with naturally captured yeast and bacteria, began weeks before that, as part of my new year’s resolution to start baking bread again.
And the knowledge to capture yeast from the air was acquired by reading an article over 10 years ago and spending months and then years nurturing my starter and practicing my recipe.
All this to bring us back to where I began.
This month my third daily habit is to meditate. Even just for a minute a day.
Because I was up so early and had to wait for the loaves to bake before my first morning appointment, I set my timer and sat.
The sun hadn’t risen yet and as I sat and breathed in and breathed out I became aware of a growing light in the sky.
So I moved my chair to the window, pulled aside the curtains, and meditated on the sunrise.
I noticed the colors changing. The water mirroring the light of the sky, shimmering silver to its pale rose.
I noticed that the furthest mountain ridge was a slightly paler and bluer purple than the one closer to me, and the one ever closer was deeper blue, and almost the color of India ink.
I meditated on color. Observing, noting, noticing, breathing.
Then the timer went off and the bread came out and I headed off into town for an early appointment with my endodontist.
Grateful that I was up early enough to watch the sunrise over the Big Sur Valley.
Grateful that I was almost the only one on the highway and because of that had time to pull over and photograph Point Sur. And to watch the cows graze. And to breathe in the smell of the sea and the wet earth.
The meditation gives my daily life a structure like the turning of the dough gives structure to my sour dough bread.
There is action, and then a long pause. And then action, and then a pause.
In the process of making a painting, a similar structure is revealed.
Meditation – even just for a minute a day – let’s me see that structure, be patient with it, breathe through it, and become more tolerant of myself and my process.
What do YOU do to structure your days? Or do you? I’d love to know!