I overheard an interesting conversation recently, about how to make sourdough bread. All the instructions were vague, given by one who had never seen the need to measure anything, as any leftover dough was simply saved for the next day’s baking. However the real clincher came when asked about cooking time – until it’s done. The conversation went something like:
“Don’t you ever time it?”
“But how do you know when to …” Here followed questioning about all the cooking tasks that were going on in addition to the bread, which is almost always cooked about right despite using a fairly unpredictable oven.
“It just seems to happen.”
Here, I realised, was someone who epitomised living in life’s flow. Just do what needs to be done, when it needs doing.
I have come to experience this flow more and more over the past few years, but didn’t fully appreciate it until I nearly lost it a few months ago. (See Going Barefoot, 2 May.) Since then I have been giving some thought to how it happens, and making a point of noticing it. For example, missing the postman was a simple thing that brought home to me how disconnected I had become – I haven’t missed the post since then, but also I have managed to receive deliveries by just looking out at the right time when our door bell wasn’t working, or when a delivery man came to the side door for no apparent reason. I have also had days when I have wondered if we would get post, and looked out to see the postman walk past our house at that moment. I should add that our post can come any time within a four hour period under normal circumstances, depending on who is delivering, and whether they are on foot or in a van…
Last week we were on holiday (hence the lateness of this weekend’s blog entry), and that also led to an unexpected series of events. We were camping not too far from Shepton Mallet, a town which I knew very little of, and didn’t actually plan to visit. However I kept getting little hints that we would be going there – three different people commenting on some aspect of the place. So when M was ill in the car towards the end of the week, just a mile from the town, I was not overly surprised and we diverted to a convenient large supermarket carpark there. Half an hour later with clothes and car seat cover washed and tied to the outside of our car to dry in the sun, we set off to explore the town. An enjoyable use of the day, and given that I had strained my knees carrying M, it probably did me far more good than our original plan of Ebbor Gorge (which is lovely, but we had been there before), giving us all a semi-rest day. A nice lunch at a local café (Peppers) followed, before a playground for M, supermarket shopping, and a refit of the now usable carseat. What could have been a difficult situation and a ruined day was rescued with a minimum of fuss and bother.
Whilst at the café, I noticed their adjacent shop sold single eggs – having brought a box of six with us for M’s and my breakfast (she eats the yolk and I have the white), I was one short for the week. So I went to buy an egg, and then found myself buying two. No idea why. But we later decided M and I would stay at the tent the following day while Himself went off to a railway show he wanted to see – so we would need some fridge-surprise lunch. I wished I’d bought three eggs so that I could make a frittata. Later that night M was ill again, so we didn’t do normal breakfast. There was my two eggs…
Weather-wise, the only times it rained we were in the tent and had no need to be outside. Our ‘home’ day was full of dramatic thunderstorms, which I enjoyed while M either slept or fed through. And we had a dry tent to pack up at the end of the week. This was an almost exact repeat of last year – days in the sun, storms at night or when it didn’t matter.
I call it life’s flow, because it seems to just that. One thing follows another, naturally, without effort. Where does this flow come from? Well I believe we are all connected by Spirit, we are all spiritual beings, and when we keep our awareness open and our plans flexible, we connect to the greater consciousness which is in everything around us. It helps when I relax and trust everything to be okay, instead of worrying about what might happen. And obviously it helps when I respond to the little hints my intuitive self gives me, instead of letting my logical self rule all the time – a process that seems to improve the more I do it. But beyond that, well I’m still learning, experiencing, enjoying, and seeing where my path will lead me next.