I was surprised yesterday morning when I woke up and realized it was already after 6:30. I’m normally up between 4:00 and 5:00, so 6:30 was sleeping in for me. Since it was so late, I decided not to do my ten-minute meditation session right then. I thought I’d do it later in the day, though I knew in my heart I probably wouldn’t. A few hours later, out on my walk, I realized I had the opportunity to practice mindfulness, making it a walking meditation. The area where I live is still covered in snow. The trails are clear in places, but I’m still wearing my cleated shoe covers. As I walked I paid attention to the sound my cleats make: click-click on the bare pavement, crack-crack on the ice, and crunch-crunch on the snow. I listened to the sound of the slight wind in my ears and the greater sound of the wind in the trees. I looked up into the trees, hoping for a porcupine, owl, eagle, or hawk sighting. I eventually shifted my walking meditation to a loving kindness meditation. Normally, I do my recitation in my head, but since I was trying something new, I said my phrases out loud. It felt good to hear myself saying the words. Then I started singing out loud.
I saw this on a friend’s Facebook page yesterday morning so, as I walked and finished up my meditation, I thought I might as well give it a try. I’m notorious for not knowing the lyrics to songs, so figuring out what to sing was a problem. I can sing along to songs on the radio because I can just mumble-mumble through the words I don’t know. Singing out loud without music and not knowing the words is a little harder. I realized while I often have a song running through my head, it’s just a portion of the song. I don’t know very many songs from beginning to end. However, from somewhere deep inside my brain, I began singing some of the songs sung regularly when I was a Camp Fire Girl some forty years ago. I sang Flicker of the Campfire and Kumbaya. Let me tell you, singing Kumbaya while walking in the snowy silence…pretty profound.
Luckily there aren’t many people out on the trails this time of year and luckily my dogs love me enough not to mind my poor singing. Like grandchildren, my dogs think my singing is wonderful. And that’s a good thing – they might just be hearing more of it.