Rosie Weeding the Basil

There is a little girl who lives across the street from me. She watches my every move. I cannot get in my car to leave without her seeing it and calling to me from her balcony. “HI TINA!” from a little Indian girl, 5 years old, adorable and adoring, alive, and brilliant. Rosie. Our relationship has grown during the past year; and now we have a weekly date to spend time together.

My last post discussed Facebook, and the way I interact with it. I challenged myself to go without for a while. It was far easier than anticipated, once I realized how much it ruled my mind and emotions. Not only was it easier, it was a very rich and sweet time that I learned to spend with myself and the world around me.

I bring this up because last week, Rosie and I hate a date. I volunteer at the Crossroads Farm once a week, and brought Rosie with me to introduce her to the plants and chickens living there. That day, they sent us out to harvest eggplant, and to weed the basil. I showed Rosie how to tell the difference between the basil and the weeds, and she quickly caught on, working hard and happily down the row. She was chattering on, bent over the basil in her pink straw hat, every five seconds holding up a new fistful of weeds, yelling, “TINA! Look at THESE!”

Every now and then, I would stand and stretch, trying to be mindful of my 57-year-old spine and hips and knees. During one of these stretches, I stopped and took in the view. Acres of basil, eggplant, broccoli, kale…an wild-assed patch of knockout sunflowers…an expanse of tomatoes. And an industrious, tiny little brown girl in pink cotton shorts and a frilly top and her beloved pink straw hat, weeding away at the row of basil. I thought to myself, “This would be such an awesome Facebook update. Wish I had my camera.”

But I was glad I didn’t. Because when I remembered my No FB commitment, and because I didn’t have my camera, there was an energy field that just dropped away—a wall of sorts—something in between me and Rosie was no longer there. And I could fully be with her, and with myself. I could feel the soil under my feet, and the breeze on my arms. I wasn’t living my life behind the Reality Show Documentarian. I was just living my life.

Suddenly, I got it that no one but me will ever experience this moment of looking down the row, seeing Rosie, and appreciating the sweetness of life. I am the only one who gets to be here right now, so I better, I don’t know, Be here. At this precise moment, my shoulders relaxed, my heart opened, and the full import of it (as much of it as I could allow) showed itself me.

I had many such moments in this ten days of cold turkey No FB. And I learned that it’s not necessary to stop FB altogether. But, like everything, it’s just important to use it mindfully. So I’m back on. But I am more careful now about why I’m there, what I want to communicate, and how long I spend.

It’s an imperfect world, and I’m doing the best I can. And that’s just right for today.