Not so long ago, when I was in my early twenties, I spent some time in counseling working through the garden variety issues that come with the “coming-of-age” angst. And among the many things that I remember my therapist saying to me, one of them has always stood out. Stood out because it perpetually annoyed me. She used to say--and say often--”now remember, Stephanie, you’re a human Being, not a human Doing.”Now this “human being not doing” saying is fine to ponder on quiet walks and during deep discussions, but as I mentioned, it always annoyed me. Annoyed me because...well...it’s just not that practical. The truth is that what I Do is a big part of who I am. Transcendent self-awareness aside, I can’t very well spend my days just “being.” My husband, for one, would probably not appreciate my “being” when--say--a huge stack of dishes needed some devoted “doing.”
What I’m trying to say, in a nutshell, is that frankly I have too much to do to concentrate on just being.
And so it was with a familiar task-oriented mind that I took another “reflective walk” yesterday morning. The beauty of a clear, chilled, snow-covered prairie had certainly made an impression on me, but not quite enough to press out from my mind the mountain of things waiting for me at home.
And then I came across some tall grasses. I had passed them already on the first leg of the walk without notice, but upon coming back they caught my eye. Caught it because they were dazzling. On top of their generic stalks were these magnificent crystal clusters, sparkling radiantly in the morning sun. It was like the whole prairie was covered in diamonds--decked in splendor for no particular reason on a boring Monday morning.
As I stopped to snap some photos (that regrettably did not turn out), it occurred to me that these shining gems were not practical at all. They were just beautiful. Granted prairie grasses aren’t normally troubled by the mounting to-do lists that we humans lug around from day to day, and therefore have more leisure to be unexpectedly lovely, but still...
...Still they reminded me of those annoying counseling sessions and how my therapist always felt the need to prod me Away from all my earnest doing. And while her attempts, and mine, are generally futile most of the time, every once and awhile I remember that beauty is at least as important as efficiency and to-do lists.
And so, under the influence of my co-conspirators (the therapist and the prairie), I've concluded that a little sparkle is good for me every now and then. It won't make my to-list go away, but it reminds me that efficiency isn't always the healthiest habit for me. Diamonds, however, are healthy indeed.
Now if only I could successfully convince my husband of this fact...