This morning, I got up and did a morning meditation by Tara Brach. It was called Sitting Like a Mountain. I had a giant blanket around me, the exact shape of a mountain. A mountain is stable, it’s strong, it’s vast. And many things play out on its surface- wind, weather, light, darkness- yet it maintains its stillness and mountain-ness. The sense of being deeply grounded in the face of so much chaos in the world is what we all crave.

I was in the last few minutes of the meditation when I felt a “click tick tick” around my eyebrow, obviously not possible for anything to move at that moment after 20 minutes of stillness without some agency of its own. So, un-mountain-like, I pawed at my face and caught sight of a large bug that dropped to the blanket- I jumped to my feet and fumbled with the phone to pause Tara’s calming voice, suddenly so at odds with the scene unfolding. I looked at the bug. I’ve never seen a bug like this- sort of a molbugdy pumpkin seed beetle, with long legs. I caught this photo just before she took flight with a loud, low buzz and landed on the arm of the sofa.

I’m not phobic about bugs but, you know, a big one by your eye when you’re extremely unguarded isn’t awesome. Also, how did she sneak up on me like that without any telltale buzz? My house was cleaned yesterday. It’s winter. I’ve never seen any bug in my house. Random giant bugs are not allowed to sneak up at 5:30am.

I ran for a small jar and a pocket Constitution (I have a bunch from the ACLU if anyone needs one). I got the jar over the bug easily and then sat down to finish the meditation, hoping for no bug cousins to appear on my head. Then, while she walked up the jar, I slid the Constitution underneath and walked out into the oddly warm morning air. The sky was just beginning to lighten. I left her out there in the upright jar, leaving her to find her way home.

I came back inside, feeling my mountain-ness return. I had written one paragraph of this post when I heard rustling in the bedroom. Then the door slammed open. Then- the latest thing- E ran out here with a big smile, fully one hour too early. He jumped into my lap and snuggled with me under the blanket and almost but didn’t quite go back to sleep. He enjoyed the bug photo and requested fire truck videos.

I have a long way to go in becoming a mountain, considering how many creatures are slithering and digging and trotting across its surface all day and all night… but considering that I’m human, I thought I actually handled that one pretty well.

Hoping to stay grounded as we embark on potty training this weekend!!





4 thoughts on “mountain”

  1. I have been doing my meditation at night in bed. And we had the exact same bug on our front door yesterday. Must be signs of spring!!! Good luck with potty training. E goes back and forth but currently he has no interest in being a big boy. He crawls into my lap and tells me he’s a baby. He needs to be potty trained by the time he starts school in August. (Nervous mommy).

  2. That’s a stink bug! We have a ton of them out East. They’re harmless if annoying. If meddled with too much, they emit an odor that I think smells like cilantro, but it seems everyone perceives it differently. I tend to flush ’em. Nothing to let mess with your mountain-ness. Stay strong, #mountainmama.

  3. Your thoughts about the stable mountain with so much happening on its surface made me think of this song lyric, from “Last year’s shoes” by the Muttonbirds.

    “There’s a thin strand of winter inside
    this long summer hillside
    no matter how hot it gets.
    Even when the leaves are hissing static,
    somewhere there’s a cold heart beating,
    beating slow and measuring.”

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