Talking with Mother

     About the time I got to the curve in the road, I realized it was a beautiful day. And I'd already been walking with the dogs for five minutes.
     "I love the brightness that the snow makes," I said aloud to no one in particular. My mind continued the thought inside. I actually do love it, everything is more cheerful. I never thought I'd love something about January. I've changed.
     And my mind began to wander off again. Except I caught it.

     When I talk out loud to "no one in particular", amazing things happen. Because "no one in particular" really is some thing. Call it my inner wisdom. Spirit. Often I talk with Mother Earth ("Mother" for short). When I started to do this, it was a practice to focus my attention on the present. But I began to get responses, almost faster than I could finish what I was saying. The responses come out of me, too. So if you were to invisibly tag along listening, it would sound like me reading a dialogue. There's no change in voice, I'm not channeling or anything. But what's coming out is insights, challenges to my old way of thinking, answers. 
     (This is where I acknowledge that this falls under the "crazy old bat" category for short-cut personality assessors. For many reasons, I don't think I'm crazy.)
     So this afternoon, I caught my wandering mind and brought it back as I came in sight of the clam flats shimmering in front of the low winter sun, and rose hips necklacing my view of the hayfields like red pearls. 
     "Mother, where to begin? I begin -- and end -- with gratitude. Thank you for the rose hips, the sunlit day, the chickadees' songs..."
     Mother was quiet today. I wasn't asking for anything, I didn't need a response. But I was focused on what was in front of me, little and big, visible and invisible, and this was changing me from who I was when I left the house. When I reached the causeway, I paused to let the dogs sniff where the clammers load their trucks (usually there's something disgustingly tempting for a lab there), and then I turned and walked home. By the time I got back to the curve in the road, I had ended my conversation by using the words of Sharon Salzburg's loving kindness meditation to ask Mother for blessing for all creatures. I walked quietly, totally present to where I was, happy. 
     And then I looked down. I had to laugh. Mother had responded, but I didn't think it would be in the asphalt of our old road.