One day early in June, I looked down at my salad plate and realized my good fortune.
The abundant salad
I saw that an incredible number of friends and acquaintances had contributed to my meal. Here were lettuces I’d purchased as seedlings from a farmer friend. Serviceberries I’d picked from a neighbor’s tree. Roasted chickpeas given to me by another neighbor, and guacamole from yet another neighbor. I dressed it with a drizzle of superspecialyummo high-end olive oil that another neighbor-friend gave me, along with beet kraut from local fermenters Fermenti Artisan.
I mean, seriously now.
And that’s not even mentioning the contributions of all the nonhuman cocreators of my food, the bees and tiny bugs, the sunshine and rain and minerals and fungi and soil itself.
Dan’s tree was loaded. Enough for birds and neighbors to enjoy, while still filling his freezer.
This time of year especially, the sheer plenitude just delights. That is, if we let it.
Nance Klehm of The Ground Rules calls it “catching abundance”—the idea that our job is to show up and appreciate, and make use of, what we are freely given.
I picked these yesterday. Blackberries, red raspberries, wild black raspberries, mulberries, and a couple Alpine strawberries.
It can be food, but it can be other things too. Recently I’ve felt grateful for an abundance of ideas, an abundance of encouragement and support, an abundance of beauty, on and on.
One night, at bedtime, I saw the quarter moon reflected in my neighbor’s window. I let myself be awed.
Gratitude opens the door to awe and wonder, two emotions that promote loving-kindness, so essential in this jaded age. (This article posits that “chronic awe deprivation has had a hand in … making us more individualistic, more self-focused, more materialistic and less connected to others… We need to actively seek out awe-inspiring moments in our everyday lives.”)
Contacting this state then, which I also call spaciousness, is not just the icing on the cake. It may be the entire smorgasbord.
Saturday I took a space at a wellness expo, where I asked people where they encounter spaciousness, or what it means to them. Many generously contributed to my inquiry, as you can see.
I invited people to contemplate spaciousness and add a thought to this board. I caught an abundance of responses!
A few of the answers:
- Expansion ♥
- In the green of nature
- Freedom to be me!
- Contentment ♥
- Open heart ♥
- The stillness inside of myself
And my personal favorite, a drawing of a tree. (Yes! Thank you, Tree!)
I bow in gratitude to the people willing to scribble something for me, and to those willing to pause a bit longer and try out my uber-short meditation for grounding and expanding. What a privilege to encounter so many openhearted souls.
What about you? What is your experience of spaciousness, or where do you encounter awe and wonder? Are you catching the abundance in your life?