Photo by Andreea Fagetan

In my lunch break I used to go for a walk. I love walking, it helps me to quiet my busy mind and be more present if I slow down (a very hard thing for me to do, as my usual walk is more like a tornado).

On this particular beautiful autumn day, it was quite windy outside. I like the wind, maybe because I can see similarities between it and my busy mind. Just like the wind, my mind can carry my sometimes-troubled thoughts for miles away, and I feel that I have no control over them.

The road I was on was not busy, so I made an effort to walk slowly and observe the things around me. After walking for about five minutes, I passed by a small park. The wind blowing furiously through the trees sounded like music and I noticed the leaves being pulled and pushed off the ground into the air, and all around me.

I stopped, closed my eyes for a moment and lifted my face towards the sky; the feeling of the wind caressing my face always makes me smile. When I opened my eyes and looked up, something amazing caught my attention: two sycamore seeds that were fused in a beautiful symmetry. They were twirling in the wind, and it looked like they were having so much fun! The leaves that I saw before, looked like they were carried away by the wind, it didn’t look like they were enjoying themselves (at least not these ones, I can’t speak for the rest of them); they seemed lifeless and a bit bored. But these two sycamore seeds looked like they were dancing and enjoying every moment of it! As I watched them float to the ground, I made a promise to myself at that moment, that I will “dance” just like those two sycamore seeds whenever my life or my mind become windy.

This experience stayed with me for a while, but then I forgot about it as I got caught up again in the busy London life. I was reminded of it one day, a few weeks later when I was rushing through the underground station and felt overwhelmed by the sea of people who were pushing and pulling, trying to get on the train. My thoughts started to race at many miles per hour and I began to feel annoyed and overwhelmed. In that moment, the dancing sycamore seeds came to my mind and I started to smile; the image of the sycamore seeds helped me to become more present and remember my promise. I looked around me and realised that there is no point being upset about something that I can’t control. When the doors opened at my stop, I thought I might as well “dance” my way out of the station, instead of letting myself be carried away by the sea of people.

So, if one day you realise that you are rushing through life so much that you are not even aware of your breath anymore, or that your mind becomes a bit too windy, try to slow down and observe the things around you. You might not see some dancing sycamore seeds, but you might notice other magic moments that are all around you; just waiting for you to be present enough to see them.

These magic moments can help you become grounded, and maybe even bring a smile on your face every time life gets a bit too crazy or even boring.

You might notice when your morning coffee is smiling back at you (photo: A Fagetan)

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