Stillness and Adventure


Yesterday morning, as David and I were packing for our 5+ weeks of adventure in Europe, I noticed a praying mantis on a chair in the kitchen.  Wondering about the symbolism of such an appearance, I looked it up.  Yes, it’s a symbol of good fortune, but good fortune found through stilling the mind, seeking peace and calmness.  One website says, “Overwhelmingly in most cultures the mantis is a symbol of stillness. As such, she is an ambassador from the animal kingdom giving testimony to the benefits of meditation, and calming our minds. An appearance from the mantis is a message to be still, go within, meditate, get quiet and reach a place of calm.”

I’ve been meditating regularly, as in every day, since January.  But recently, with the busyness of lots of family visits and getting ready for a long trip, I’ve found myself not getting to meditation at least several days in the last few weeks.  That’s after 8 months of no-fail daily meditation.

We’re in Normandy today, staying tonight in the lovely village of Saint-Germer-de-Fly, on our way to a week with our friend Anny at her summer house in Lisores.  It’s been a packed day, and after a night on an airplane, and landing in a time zone 6 hours ahead of the one I left, my body isn’t entirely sure what day it is.  Tuesday, right?

Which means I haven’t meditated yet today.  I’ve been busy being stunned by beautiful villages and old abbeys and sun chasing rain showers chasing sun across a rolling green landscape of hay fields and pasture.

So, time to meditate.  In the meantime, here’s a taste of the first day of our adventure.

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About Grace Mattern

Grace Mattern is a poet, writer, mother, grandmother, partner, friend, family member, gardener, triathlete, hiker and for 30 years was the Executive Director of the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She resigned her position at the Coalition on June 15, 2011 in order to concentrate on her writing, while continuing to engage in the movement to end violence against women as a consultant and advisor. Her chapbook Fever of Unknown Origin was published in 2001 and her full-length poetry book The Truth About Death was published in 2012.
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