Good Intentions

By Susan Tweit

I think of this time of year as the contemplative season: the days are shorter and life slows down in preparation for winter. I haven’t had much reflective time lately, and I feel the lack of quiet, time to just be, to listen to the “small, still voice” of my spirit and to my heart’s connection to the land and to life itself.

I wonder if I’ve been avoiding the stillness. When life is overwhelming and the news is consistently not good, busyness can be a very effective way to stay numb. My intention is to be present though.

So I’ve resolved to refocus my life in a quieter, less frenzied way. As a start to that, I spent some time tidying the informal “altars” (pronounced the Spanish way, with the accent on the second syllable, as in “all-TARZ”) in my office.

I dusted the rocks, shells, pressed leaves, animal and bird figures, and pieces of art grouped on the long shelf of natural sandstone that juts from one office wall like a curving rock ledge (a sculptural touch that Richard designed).

As I picked up each piece, I held it in my hand for a moment and thought about the person or place it stands for, and sent out my appreciation and love for their gifts. The ritual of cleaning and tidying, of remembering and honoring reminded me of how much I love this life, the capital “L” cycle of existence that animates this remarkable planet.

And I rededicated myself to not letting busyness swirl me into its whirlwind of inattention. I’m going to stay aware of how I feel and what it most important to me. I’m going to think and notice and be as I go through the days, observing and noting how things are, and correcting course as necessary.

As a start, I’ll note this: The journey with Richard’s brain cancer is intense every day, even when I don’t think about the implications of the tumors the surgeons sliced from his right temporal lobe in August.

And how can I not think of them when I contemplate the cluster of medicine bottles and supplements that he takes each day: two antibiotics (one twice a day three days a week, one every day), one anti-inflammatory, Vitamin C, D, and lysine supplements, a homeopathic anticancer regime that involves two substances (five capsules of one and two of another, alternating four times a day), one fish oil supplement …We’ve devised a chart to help us keep track of what he’s taken and when.

Then there’s the anticancer diet, involving three meals prepared from scratch every day. Is it any wonder I get overwhelmed?

But that doesn’t mean I can’t be mindful and find time to honor the contemplative spirit of the season.

So that’s my intention: Be here, be present, be mindful of what life’s about. Be thankful for the community – of friends, family, and the land – that gives me support and inspiration.

Simply put: Be me, every moment of every day.

Award-winning writer Susan J. Tweit is the author of 12 books, and can be contacted through her web site, or her blog,
Copyright 2010 Susan J. Tweit