The sun was finally shining today, after all the rain we have been getting, and all I wanted to do was feel the warmth of its rays. There is something very comforting when you feel like you are being wrapped up in a huge hug of sunshine.
The boys had just acquired a new stack of exciting library material, so we headed out back to lie on a blanket and get lost in the pages. As I lay on the blanket while they read and looked at books, I began to notice I was thinking about, well…nothing. Absolutely nothing. My mind had completely quieted. It was a freeing feeling and also very peaceful.
My legs were longer than our blanket, so they were partially touching the grass. I began to pay attention to how the grass felt. It was remarkably cool, soft and felt pure. The grass was slender, forgiving and tickled.
Yet it was not just the grass that made my mind quiet; it was the breeze, the sky, the clouds, the smell of the air and most importantly it was my body lying on the earth. The earth and I were resting back to back, our skins touching ever so gently. It was comforting, like we could have just melted or merged into one another.
The earth made me feel so grounded. Like I was part of it and it was part of me. “…The Lord God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being.” –Genesis 2:7
Lying against the earth and looking up, it seemed like the world had another viewpoint on life. My mind felt free, clearer and I was for once not worried about what I should be doing. I was merely allowing myself to be in that moment and just feel: The grass, my breathing, the breeze, the comical chatter between the kiddos about why grass is pointy at the top and the freedom that arose from the experience of lying there.
Gazing up into the clouds and trees, I felt keenly alive. I sensed the ground extracting the stress I had right down through my spine and out of my body. The experience almost felt somewhat healing. Like God was trying to say, “Melanie, please breathe and relax, everything is going to be just fine. Try looking at the world from a different angle sometimes and you will be able to truly see and feel comforted. Do not get so wrapped up in your head. You need to feel more and stop thinking so much.”
Try laying your body against the earth God made — whether it is grass, sand or whatever you choose, for even just five minutes. However, if you do not want to lie outside, lying on the floor in your own home will still give you a fresh outlook. Honestly, things look different from that angle and sometimes in our lives we need to find a new perspective on something to accept or understand it.
Melanie Sextro is a military wife and mother to two sweet boys. She is a member of St. Patrick Parish in Iowa City.