Don’t Miss the Trees

“Yesterday is a cancelled check; tomorrow is a promissory note; today is the only cash you have – so spend it wisely.” Kay Lyons

I woke up Thursday morning actually looking forward to the 30-minute drive to my Mercer Island vet. No, I don’t enjoy I-90’s rush hour traffic, and although I love my vet, I wasn’t giddy with joy at putting my dog, Tasha, through yet another exam for her most recent slate of health issues.

I wanted to see the trees.

Seattle’s had an unusually gorgeous fall this year. The trees are turning color, and the ivy has become my favorite shade of red. Tasha’s vet appointment provided the perfect excuse to explore the fall colors before the weekend’s forecasted rain. I loaded Tasha into the car, turned on the radio, and set off on my journey.

Five hours later, it occurred to me. I hadn’t seen a single tree. No, they hadn’t all mysteriously disappeared, transported to the planet Adrastea by mysterious alien aircraft. I’d simply been too distracted to notice them. I don’t even know for sure what distracted me. I wasn’t particularly stressed about this appointment. Traffic was a breeze for once, so I wasn’t worried about being late. I’d even had a good night’s sleep the night before.

I suspect I spent the entire drive grumbling at my dashboard, annoyed by the political talk show I’d turned on—always a good use of my time. But regardless of the reason, I totally missed the colors, in spite of my intention to look for them. On BOTH directions of the drive.

Which made me wonder. How many other beauties do I miss in my daily life even when I intend to look for them?

According to The Yoga Sutras, the primary goal of yoga is to control the random fluctuations of our minds so that we can see clearly and react appropriately.  In short, yoga teaches us how to be present in every moment—fully appreciating the beauty of this life, while not being derailed by its inevitable challenges. Even if one of those challenges is an obnoxious talk show host.

I invite each of you to be fully present at least a few minutes each day. Turn off the TV and the radio. Silence your cell phone. Don’t check Facebook for an hour or two; your “friends” will still be there later. Unplug from your fast-paced technological life. Take in your surroundings; smell the scent of fresh rain. Communicate with the real friends standing next to you.

I started Thursday afternoon by taking Tasha for a two-and-a-half hour walk. She joyfully immersed herself in all of her favorite fall scents. I finally noticed the trees.


Tracy Weber

Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle!

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