I am a stalker of sunsets. I will drop everything and hop in my car driving five minutes to a nearby lake if I think I might catch a two-minute glimpse. Driving down a rural highway, I will make a U-turn and pull my car over for the right sunset. I don’t understand why everyone around me isn’t doing the same. Are they blind?
Sunsets also frustrate me. Sometimes my timing is off and I miss it. I’ll be making dinner, and look up and it’s dark already. Dejection! Or sometimes I am chauffeuring kids around and by the time I get them dropped off and head back to the lake it is over. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel resentful.
But here’s the most frustrating thing. I get there. The sunset happens, and it’s pretty good. The sky, the lake. I think it’s over. I wait a few extra minutes just in case. Finally, I get in my car and leave. Then, on the way home the sky gives one last shocking hurrah of PINK! But I’m in traffic, and can’t really admire it the way I’d like to. The way it deserves.
WHY DID I NOT WAIT FIVE MORE MINUTES? I was sure it was done. I did wait a little, but not long enough.
One time at a Buddhist retreat center, the teacher was talking meditation. She said, sometimes, right when you get the urge to come out of meditation, if you stay a little longer, if you just give it a few more minutes, insights or breakthroughs will happen. Not that they must, but sometimes our impulse to leave the meditation is actually fear of our own growth.
There is a saying in the yoga community, “the pose begins the moment you want to leave it.” I don’t know about that. There is wisdom in listening to your body if it is telling you to leave a pose. If you are at your limit. If you are in pain. But sometimes, there is wisdom in staying just a little bit longer.
Why am I so often in a hurry to get to the next moment?
What beauty might happen if I learn to wait?