Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Simple Suggestion #68... Lie on the grass and watch the clouds

Watching clouds has been one of my favourite simple things to do ever since I was in Grade Eleven. One of the books in the Catholic school Religion 25 curriculum at that time was Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah (1977, Dell, ISBN 0-440-34319-4) by Richard Bach, the guy who wrote Jonathan Livingston Seagull. The book is still one of my favourites because it contains the "Messiah's Handbook: Reminders for the Advanced Soul," which is a series of wonderful quotations like, "Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours," and "The bond that links you and your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life. Rarely do family members grow up under the same roof." And dozens of others. But I digress.

At one point in the book (p. 116) the two main characters are practicing vaporizing clouds. Richard challenges Don to vaporize the biggest, meanest looking cloud, and they have a five second discussion about it, and by the time their discussion is over, Don has completely vaporized the cloud. Richard looks up, sees that it's gone, and is miffed. Funny. So that summer I spent a lot of time vaporizing clouds. Just little ones, mind you. I'd pick a wisp on the edge of a fluffy white cumulus, and just watch it dissipate from the power of my concentration on it.

No, I don't really imagine that I can vaporize clouds, but it's a nice thing to try to do on a warm summer's day when nothing is pressing. We're so used to being busy, doing so much, running so hard. How often do we give ourselves permission to do nothing? Not often enough.

So even if you don't feel like watching clouds, give yourself a little break today, permission to do nothing for a little while. You deserve it! And if you've never read Richard Bach's book, I'd recommend it. Here's one more quotation: "You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it come true. You may have to work for it, however."

P.S. Looking for more Simple Suggestions? Try here.

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