In metro Atlanta districts, school begins at the beginning of August, so for many teachers this week is fall break. I’ve been looking at lots of beach pictures of my teacher and parent friends feeling a little jealous that I’m not getting away from my world and relaxing on a beach listening to waves and feeling the ocean breeze.
Today as I stood holding my mom’s leaf blower clearing off her patio, I smiled a big smile and realized that I was exactly where I needed to be and that because of my work today, my mom would be happier tomorrow. The loud noise, was like a wave machine of white noise drowning out the noise in my head, the noise of my thinking too much sometimes irrational thoughts the noise that takes me places I’d rather not go. At that moment, I knowingly smiled visualizing my mom’s return to her house after her trip home to Iceland for a month. I visualized her seeing her freshly mowed grass (courtesy of my husband) along with the work my son and I did today. She would notice the fresh flowers on the table as well as the clean patio. She would open the refrigerator and find fresh food. I continued to clean with the loud white noise in some strange way whirring through my mind cleaning out the clutter. As I stood blowing the leaves, the white noise drove out jealousy and selfishness and pride. I was left with the desire to do right for the right reasons. I began to think of times I’ve served seeking recognition, times I’ve given to receive, and times I’ve served because it’s part of a job or role.
Right now I’m visualizing myself with a leaf blower in my house, in my car, and in my classroom as I try to clear my mind of the thoughts that get in the way of my doing what needs to be done with the right mindset. Perhaps this is a call to clear my mind more often, a call to seek silence (or at least white noise), and perhaps a call to more prayer and meditation. This also shows me that I don’t have to stop to find the silence. I just have to find a way to clear my mind. Funny, the power of the leaf blower to help me find happiness in a moment.