I looked around me this morning, with the full realization that we are, as we move into the month of August, starting the shift towards the end of summer. But we have, where we are right now, abundance all around us. We are at the peak of our local produce, and the farmer’s markets are full of ripe fruits and vegetables, rich in the colors, the smells, the tastes. This is the time of plenty, time to enjoy the fruits of all we planned for, planted, nurtured and cultivated, starting last winter when we made plans for our gardens this summer.

This is the cycle…..of planting and, metaphorically, of life. We plan, we plant, we grow and then we harvest; whether it is produce or an idea or a project or a dream, there is a natural cycle to things, and one that can be very interesting to notice.

Right now, if we choose to notice, we can find all kinds of life around us. The other day, I was driving and enjoying the entire median of the highway full of sunflowers, and I smiled as I drove by. How can you not smile and feel good when you see a field of sunflowers? And then there was a doe and two small spotted fawns on the side of the road, just munching the grass. And it made me smile again…the gifts of the natural world all around me.

Noticing, that is the beauty and the how of mindfulness. A mindfulness practice helps us to create the space and the presence to notice, to be aware of all that there is. When we can pause in the breath, maybe even rest in the breath, we can witness an expansion that allows us to respond a little differently, to show up just a little differently. We might be less caught up in the chaos of our individual lives, and we might just be able to have the experience of noticing. And right now, as we are in the fullness of the summer, we might notice and find gratitude for the abundance all around us.

I hope that we each have a lovely rest of the summer, and that we can each pause and be present with what we have right her and right now, before we are caught up in the shift of moving into the fall. Enjoy the full ripeness of the bounty around us, the warmth of the sun, the fullness of the earth and all that it offers.

Martha Calihan From the Soul

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