I had a few things on my plate last week and I was dithering. I can be a queen of procrastination and on this particular day my brain was cycling through options like a washing machine set to spin.
Then a clear instruction appeared: walk to the shop and pick up some milk.
This instruction didn’t come from my head, although they can sometimes appear there, rather it arrived more as an impulse: a moment of clarity from deep within that can be easily ignored if I choose not to listen act on it. Whilst my brain can’t always understand it’s reasoning (my logical brain would have told me getting milk was waaaay down the list of things I had to do), I’m not often disappointed when I follow these kinds of impulses.
I grabbed my purse, the dog lead and the dog, (I’m not a sadist) and we began the short walk to the local shop. I didn’t take a coat, the sky was a bright and beautiful blue, the clouds white and fluffy, as I set off and soaked up the sunshine. Two minutes out the door the Great British Summertime played its usual trick as the heavens opened. My knowing didn’t see this one coming, or maybe it did. Fat drops of rain soaked through my t-shirt and onto my skin. On another day I might have sought shelter or turned back, but on this day I opened my arms and smiled, welcoming the warm rain (a wonder in itself in this country) which reminded me of being in Thailand many years ago. I walked slowly and breathed deeply, the bouquet of summer aromas wafting from the freshly cut grass. The dog didn’t seem to mind either.
Arriving at the shop unapologetically bedraggled, I bumped into some acquaintances. Our amiable passing of the time of day lifted my spirits. My head had been in my writing all morning and I hadn’t realised I needed to talk, but the social interaction put a spring in my step for the walk home.
Even more delight greeted me on the pavement in the form of a huge toad. I watched him for a while, he obligingly posed for a few photographs (I got as close as I dared without inadvertently inviting the dog to an unsanctioned lunch), then I ushered him into some bushes and out of the path of a reversing car, commenting to a bemused passer-by that I was ‘just helping Mr Toad avoid being run over.’ (If I carry on like this I’ll begin cultivating an interesting reputation in my village).
I was only out of the house for fifteen minutes, but what an awe-inspiring interlude to my otherwise normal day: rain that transported me to another country, conversation to bring me out of my head and into the world, just in time to notice a toad who reminded me of the sheer awesomeness of nature and inspired a Sunday rhyme time poem.
All that from listening to that little voice of knowing that cut through my procrastination and ordered me to get the milk.
The magnitude of the small things never ceases to amaze me.
Where has your knowing taken you?