It’s a beautiful spring morning here in Madrid. The sky at 7.15 was a deep, dark blue, the trees lit by the first warmth of the sun, the magical transition time between night and day. The birds sing for spring now in the mornings, and ants are appearing again from the cracks in the pavement to scurry out and collect the seed pods from the platano trees, leaving piles of fluffy remains around the entrances to their nests having plucked out the seed for their hoards inside. Like the trees, they are awakening after winter. I can feel it too in me. Spring is an awakening time.
I was struck the other day by our ability to change our reaction to anything in an instant. We have our newborn baby in the house and like to take her out for a walk every day. One morning, a sunny spring morning that was far too nice to spend inside, I got back from taking our son to school to discover that the local water company had parked a lorry right outside our front door and set up a very noisy generator and a cement mixing machine. The generator was blasting away at high decibels, way too high to take a newborn past, and looked set to stay on all morning.
My first reaction was not positive. I was very, very annoyed. It was the best morning we’ve had for months, it was pulling me outside almost magnetically, but there was no way we were getting past that noise with the baby. We were stuck inside until they would go. And who knows how long that would be!
So I found myself annoyed, highly frustrated, and beginning to feel really p-d off. And then I said to myself, “I know this feeling, I always feel like this in this kind of situation, what if I just totally change my reaction to this?” And that seemed like the best idea I’d ever heard. Immediately all my frustration and annoyance just dropped away. I accepted I wasn’t going out into the glorious sunny day for a while, and went and sat on the bed with the baby, looking at spring out of the window. I spent a glorious, relaxing, content couple of hours like this, absolutely happy to do nothing and go nowhere, just to be, and to recuperate some much needed energy.
And then after those couple of hours the water company suddenly packed up and drove off. The street returned to peace and quiet, and we got our lovely walk in the spring sun.
So this has got me thinking. What else can I change my reaction to? It’s so easy after all! Even if it seems so difficult! I think it starts with the realisation “here I am again, reacting like this again”, and is followed by a simple decision that reacting like that isn’t what I want to do any more. So many things I can apply it to!
Three fat blackbirds are sitting on the fence on the other side of the road. The magnolia is coming into flower in the neighbour’s garden, it looks set to be another stunning spring day. A day to be in peace with the world.
I hope you have a wonderful day.