Routine leads to complacency, but also security. Falling into a rut lets us overlook what is around us, and insulates us against thoughts that take us into uncertainty and spontaneity.
When I started these blogs I made a point to notice - to see the changes in climate, the details in the landscape. I was awed, and inspired. This was part of the new, the attempt to know myself better.
Yet here I am, on the same train: the sun is readying for summer, there is more ochre in the light, tinges of gold and buttercup drift over the trees and house. Shadows have become lazy, yawning to shake off the winter hunch and prepare for the sprawl of the summer. My big coat now seems to be a mistake, deceived by the morning mist. I have not noticed the change of the seasons, green has bust forth from the branches, now accelerating with alacrity, and my garden once again needs to be tamed. How did this happen? Why did I forget to look?
The pattern took over me, the relentless rhythm of sleep, work, eat, sleep, until we become insulated against what happens around, against what is outside our bubble, our immediate space. Routine is safe, a cotton wool that cuddles us, and mists our eyes against what is new to us; but routine is unforgiving, a pathway that treads heavier and heavier, until we cannot lift our foot onto the verge. As the weight builds, our heads drop, our shoulders set, our teeth grind, and we take on the faraway stare of survival, of grim determination.
Time too, bends to the pressure of routine, the days become locked into ticking off the boxes of time and deadlines. With each step onward each second becomes more and more precious, and seems to disappear that much sooner. Moments are not experienced, they are allocated for this or that as we attempt to pin down, to manage time, to make it work for us.
So I find myself writing this, with my head in a bucket of water - refreshing my eyes and my spirits; and realising that while I set my shoulder to the stone the flowers bloomed. Slowly their scent has drifted to wake me from my slumber.