Jean Croker Petke

The Art of Pondering

The Art of Pondering

Mugs breed in the night in my kitchen. Some I have bought; some have been gifted to me. No matter. I’ve always had too many mugs. During my last move I got rid of every mug I either didn’t use or didn’t like. I reduced the number to six — just enough for me and guests — and made a decision to not buy any more mugs. Ever.

My policy has worked perfectly for four years — until last week. I found a mug that I absolutely had to have. I knew I would regret not purchasing it if I walked away.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog you know I ponder many things. I can’t help myself. I notice something or I observe a moment and my mind immediately begins wondering what it’s about or what does it mean. I often make a note so I can come back later.

Pondering is where I discover life — which is always more than just playing baseball with The Boy, or drinking coffee at IHOP with a friend, or seeing dead plants in my garden. There is always more to discover and see and understand — and that happens during pondering.

Unlike meditation, where the purpose is to silence one’s mind, pondering is clearing one’s activities enough to let things stir in your mind so you can see them beyond their obvious surfaceness. Items begin to move, to reconnect, to color themselves, and take on voices that a too-busy person will overlook.

Pondering is the source of aha moments, the change of perspective, the creation of insights, and the attentiveness to small things.

Pondering happens with my morning coffee. With the fire in the fireplace. With the bare trees out my window. With The Boy chasing a football. With rolling cookie dough on my counter. With the scent of jasmine in the tea store. With orange berries on the neighbor’s shrub. With the shiny green apples in the market. With the strains of Simon and Garfunkel on the car radio.

Such moments happen all the time. Sometimes they grab my attention, sometimes not. I hold the ones I notice; the others have to find someone else to hold them.

Pondering allows you to come upon the truth. It takes you by the hand on a path of searching and wondering, stillness and the cacophony of earth sounds, slow steps and rock hopping. The colors are limitless, the aromas sensual, the vision is both microscopic and telescopic.

My PONDER mug reminds me every morning to allow things to touch my consciousness, to slow down, and to savor the moments.

Take time to ponder for a moment or two during your holidays.

Until next Tuesday . . .