January 20

“STILLNESS AT DAWN”

O DAWN
Where do you hide your paints at night
That cool breath, that scent,
With which you sweeten the early air?- Susan Lwanga

I pondered on the poetry to try to see things as they are like Descartes but my mind seemed distracted by the sounds of nature (forgot my phone at the home during the morning rush!). I was fascinated by nature’s rhythm as the daybreak and like a Black Hawk, I watched as my daughter crossed the road seconds after the screeching sounds of coming vehicles alerted her that she could cross to another side safely. We are a community that looks after each other right? I waited and before my next breath, she disappeared into the school building still oblivious to nature but recognizable by the chimney smoke rising into the heavens. Not unusually, I sat down for a few minutes to observe the busyness of Life and the apparent attachment theory. I am not a developmental psychologist but who cares when you are a parent scientist and learning to be mindful and at the same time enjoy the discomfort of being human? I took a breath and said my loving kindness mantra “May You Be Well and Be At Ease” as the children dashed out of the sound vehicles screeching to a halt, humming and zooming off as parents couldn’t wait to dash back to their busy lives. This reminded me of my previous lives, foremost as a child walking to school in Lagos with the constant annoying horn blaring for no apparent reason. Not too long ago the constant irritating sound of smartphones, doorbells, and bleeps at the Bethlem, very busy doctors trying their best to alleviate human suffering in the midst of constant chaos and digital distractions. Bethlem nature is always a safe place to find solace and mindfulness. I dialogued with myself if we can get this parenting right as a society at this critical stage maybe we can safely handle the baton to a more resilient and compassionate society in the future. “Resilience is the cornerstone to healing a planet that faces the most dangerous of times.”

At the cockcrow, the family woke up rather late, Thank God the alarm failed to work this morning, and the family got another extra 45 minutes in bed before our busy Lives. The family raced each other to get ready for the morning drive like most parents. As the children were preparing for their morning devotion, I told my wife If I had a “super-power” I will advocate changing the school time to 9.00 am. I argued and protested that we all know that the brain needs good quality sleep but why is that we are all resistant to change? She smiled and reassured me as always that we are a creature of habits and change is hard even for the most resilient including the teachers, philosophers, and the Thane!

It was a bit cold my daughter said softly as we drove down the hill despite the fact that the weather has precipitously dropped in the last few weeks, interestingly the car dashboard was showing -7 Celsius. As we slow down at the Stop sign and waited for the Yellow Bus to pass, we did our three breaths mindfulness practice, a natural pause for us to reflect. Science suggests that children have a short attention span and trying to get them to sit down to do 5 minutes of meditation is like trying to get blood from a stone. This was a mistake on my part when I first started mindfulness with my children. I got frustrated most time thinking they were not ready but I didn’t realize it was the teacher’s ignorance. “When the student is ready the teacher appears” the philosophers would say. Minutes later the cars were accelerating up the hill competing for space on two narrow-lane roads with breaking lights warning the other cars to slow down like a madhouse. The moon was hanging beautifully in the sky against the darkness covering the city as it woke up. I asked my daughter if it was a half-moon or not. She said it was quarter-moon without hesitating then reclined back to her seat. As the parent-teacher, I said that our perception of the moon depends on our intention, consciousness, mindfulness practice muscle, and ability to focus. As the neurobiologist would put it famously the brain and the mind is like an orchestra without a conductor, simply a continuous flow of moment-to-moment experience with a new self-being born and dying in each moment, there is not a stable witness but just impersonal experience unfolding. I was reminded of the quote by Wei Wu Wei, “ As long as there is a ‘you’ doing or not-dong, thinking or not-thinking,’ meditating’ or ‘not-meditating’ you are no closer to home than the day you were born.”

I DROVE BACK HOME on the less busy road with amazing mountain views, Oh my Lord thanks for the ability to enjoy the present moment, the darkness appeared to have disappeared as if a Higher Being have removed the blanket and the hebetude, this phenomenon will always remain a mystery to Astrophysics but with careful attention, one can still see the moon as it fades away into oblivion and then it dawns on me like ‘serendipity’ maybe I should write my first book but I guess I will have to figure out what to write about. I thought to myself I have till the end of the year to finish the book if I didn’t abandon the project like most writers! I shared the idea with my wife, two linguist children, my close friends, and now you (If you’re still reading this blog!). Out of curiosity, I googled the title I had in mind but to my surprise, there are many writers on the Internet who are writing about “how to write a book” rather than writing the ‘actual book’ and wondered why, I thought one should become the person before writing the book, right? I guess I have to muster all the discipline and do the hard work in the next few weeks/months.

“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it”- Toni Morrison

Blog edited by Annabelle


Tags

Mindfulness, new habits, Parenting, Poetry


About the Author

Niran (Larinde) Ojomo is a Trusted Advisor, COACH, Speaker and Trainer certified with the Maxwell Leadership Team. He is the founder of Forward-Thinking Generation Next, a forward-thinking organization that challenges individuals and organizations to re-invent themselves, anticipate and adapt to the future and be culturally relevant in an increasingly complex globalized world.

Niran Ojomo

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