It’s raining…

Sometimes the weather reflects how we feel, doesn’t it? Although perhaps the reverse is true – that the weather affects how we feel? Pathetic Fallacy. Thomas Hardy was a master at it.

Today I am feeling rained on inside. Outside, the sheep are sheltering along the wall back. The chickens are in the coop. My view from inside to out is fuzzy and chilled with raindrops. It’s the middle of summer.

A spider is running across the table. Busy. And I am feeling regret.

One of my oldest friends has died. It’s unexpected for me. I thought she’d be here forever. In my minds eye she was fit, healthy, and loved life. Always busy travelling or with her grandchildren. But I haven’t seen her for ages. Really ages.

Which I regret.

How often have I thought of her and felt too busy with other stuff to re-connect?

When my Dad died I hadn’t seen him for ages, busy with the mess in my life, and arriving in a rush from Scotland I found him in so much pain that he was no longer himself. He died 24 hours or so later. I found that particular regret so hard to let go of that it dogged me for years. When Mum died, I was busy knitting trying to get a project finished (for her Christmas present), and neglected to make the regular phone call to her the day she was ambulanced into hospital and died. I let regret go more quickly that time. A few months only of feeling it perhaps. I believe regular meditation made the difference between the two experiences. It brings me back to the present moment rather than getting lost in the past.

And yet here I am again, feeling a regret. Knowing I can’t reach back to have the cuppa, go for the walk, send the email that I thought about but didn’t action. I’ve missed my chance to re-connect. Time’s up.

This life is so full, I spend some of my time feeling overwhelmed just thinking about it. And yet my house isn’t clean. My garden is wild. I don’t have an exhausting full-time job anymore. I don’t have weekly family commitments. Most of my friends live in other places. So I ought to have free time.

And yet it’s seldom I am doing nothing. I might be sitting still but my hands are knitting, spinning my threads, drawing, making. My ears are usually listening, learning. My eyes are assessing, reading, assimilating. There’s always something that requires my effort or attention. The spider sitting still is listening, watching, waiting to spin her threads and wrap up her dinner.

Does this regret mean I must get busier trying to avoid stacking up more things I haven’t had time for yet? At my worst, I can feel as if I’m always running late to life. Like the rabbit in Alice (not that I’ve ever read Alice). Pushed around by a belief in insufficient time.

I mean, I choose to fill almost every corner of this life already. But I also want to choose just to Be: to meditate, to sit in the woods, to stroke Dog. Do nothing. The spider may be sleeping, resting, perhaps just sitting doing nothing when I don’t see her. She’s not not living life is she?

Isn’t my regret simply the fear that I failed to love enough? be a good enough friend. That old chestnut again, the fear that I haven’t been good enough, showing up in a different disguise?

But are Life and Time really finite? I don’t believe they are and there’s plenty of evidence they are not. Are we ever dis-connected from each other? from the wild-wide-ness of Love? No I don’t believe so.

This feeling I call regret keeps me stuck in finite time, in dis-connection. In Fear.

I have freedom to choose Infinity and Love. I can trust that my friend knows I love her and that we are always connected. That the time we had was enough. Perfect times. Warm loving times that still live within me. This is not to push away my grief. I will miss her. I can mourn her. But I can also know that Love connects me to her; to everyone and everything. Always. Coming back to being fully present in this moment.

The spider will only spin so many beautiful webs before the wind blows them away, and then she starts over with no regrets.