I’m thousands of kilometres away from “home” and I as I mow the lawn my mind trails and rouses memories… I remember a particular occasion my dad taught me to change the blades on the lawn mower.
The present smell of the lawn and the wrath of the sun, as I mowed, remind me of how dad taught me to canvas the grass for stones before mowing… I remember blisters and the pain that came with them as I worked our garden / yard besides just mowing the lawn.
Interestingly, I do not feel the pain I felt then after completion of my present exercise. Of course, the scenario is slightly different. I’m older and stronger, plus the area I’ve just “jazzed up” with the mower is probably a quarter of my yard “at home”.
Always schedule activity that allows you to reflect
My mind is then now barraged with other similar thoughts from the days I worked dad’s dream-size yard and garden. Suddenly, an emotion catches me so unawares it takes me a while to actually decipher. It wasn’t sadness and had totally nothing to do with the home-sickness I experienced a few days prior.
Gratitude! I find myself being overwhelmed with gratitude and I whisper a heartfelt, “thanks dad!”. Interesting – the fact that I never enjoyed doing the garden much (typical of most teenagers and chores!).
This could have been mainly due to the fact that it was not my ideal way of spending some portions of my highly anticipated weekends and holidays.
I began to revisit some other “lessons from dad” from a totally different perspective and attitude. Life is not always predictable and I had never imagined myself being grateful for some of the things I hated as I went through them in the past, though mom and dad had said I was going to thank them someday.
They were right. Today I’m grateful also for the lessons I learnt in and through pain, apart from mom and dad. If you’re a parent don’t despair if you children don’t seem to “be getting it” now. You may have to treat some of the lessons you’re giving as investments that will yield their profit in some years to come. All is not lost!
This for me was a reminder that we are able to draw some valuable lessons from our past experiences and sometimes all it takes is reflection. Reflection may also help in giving purpose to the pain we may have experienced in the past. Sometimes the pain we experience is for a lesson that we will get later!
Not only can we learn from other people’s mistakes but we can also learn from our own and avoid making the same ones again by engaging in reflection more regularly.
Another thing I purposed after my brief ‘exercise’ was that I would embrace all experiences, including the ones I particularly did not like at the time. The reason: somehow they may have the potential to make me wiser now or sometime later as I engage in reflection again.
Become a student of your own life. The lessons you could discover may just shock you! You may just discover you’re wiser than you think!
The wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I perceived that the same event happens to all of them – Solomon
Mow your lawn.
What do you do when you want to reflect?