The Golden Morning Hour
My morning walk to my bench at the start of the day continues to be a stable sort of ritual for me. Each morning has a new design: I see fruit on the trees has ripened, wheat is a little more ready to harvest, the sky greets me in a new way, and I smell the dust of the earth or breathe in the evaporating rain. I look forward to this time that is just for me and my growing relationship with the Earth.
The path leading to my favorite spot is only a few minutes from my house. At a bend in the path there is a spectacular view of the Rhine Valley, and only a few meters farther is my bench, always inviting and waiting for only me. No one else has ever wanted to sit there.
Then, one day, I found someone sitting on MY bench! My thoughts converged into one: Get up from MY bench and continue your walk!
Of course, I knew that I didn’t own the bench, but after many months of benching, it had somehow become my secret possession. That another person was sitting on my bench was simply not something I liked. I wanted to sit alone. I did not want to engage in conversation or sit next to someone, even in silence.
Grumpy now, I circled the bench and walked back and forth, waiting for them to leave. No luck! The person seemed to be enjoying the view as much as I did. I had no choice but to find another place to sit. I canvassed the surrounding fields, and next to a stream I found a high seat for a hunter. I climbed up the ladder and looked at my surroundings from above—which, by the way, was also beautiful!
The next morning, I wanted to go to my bench again. This time no one else was there, so I happily strode towards it and settled down with pleasure. Familiarity arose within me. This is how it should be! The dog walkers, stroller pushers, and joggers, made their rounds, and there was nothing more than an occasional and friendly, “Good morning!” I was happily back to benching.
Due to some commitments, I was unable to follow my morning ritual for a few days. When I returned to my beloved schedule, I equipped myself with a book, New Equations Music, paper, pencil, my coffee-to-go, and trotted off. No sooner had I settled down when I heard footsteps on the path behind me. Instead of passing by as usual, the person stopped, and I heard, “Ah, there you are again. I missed you!” As the woman walked away, she said, “Have a good day! See you tomorrow!”
Thoughts filled my head:
Obviously sitting on my bench is being kindly received . . .
Maybe I am so fused with my bench that, just as the absence of a building or tree is noticed when it is suddenly no longer there, my absence is also noticed . . .
Should I perhaps choose another time for benching so that I can follow my thought excursions undisturbed?
Then, the next morning, I was greeted again! This time it was someone walking a dog, and it wasn’t long before a Nordic Walker, who had already completed a circuit, also stopped for a little chat. After the weather and dog topics were taken care of, to my surprise we shared some beautiful ideas and perceptions of life. I heard quite wonderful things about healing, near-death experiences, past lives, the future, and more.
I became curious . . .
Who were these people who had been passing my way for many months, rigorously excluded and ignored by me?
In the weeks that followed, the bench became a visiting spot for anyone who wanted to sit with me for a little while. Wonderful conversations ensued and somehow my village became more alive to me.
I still go benching every morning, more humble than before, and with thankful anticipation for those I might meet. With whom might I be allowed to share some special moments? Or will the moments be given to me with the Earth, to spend together aligned in peace? All these moments I will graciously receive!
It is still “my” bench, but the I want to be alone feeling has fallen away. My heart is inviting and welcoming. I am curious to see what more will evolve out of this Golden Morning Hour.
One of my new friends said: “This place is so beautiful, and when I have sat here for a while, I feel transformed and new!”
It seems I have also been transformed by benching . . . and a little more Soultype 2 swings in me . . .
Keep benching without agendas and expectations—your life will expand and be richer!