Writing my way through the A-to-Z blogging challenge, I’ve tasked myself with throwing open the cabinet of curiosities and wondrous things I call my brain and leading you on a tour of what actually resides in there – all through the lens of unusual, obscure, or simply charming-to-me words.
Z is for..
zaduma (noun) – reverie; pensiveness; a state of dreamy meditation or fanciful musing.
Over the course of this challenge I’ve shared some of my favorite words, many obscure, some obsolete; but it seems every year I learn a word or two from a language I don’t speak, that really fits into my heart like an old friend. Zaduma is that word for me currently.
I’m wondering how many other folks who have been playing in this month’s challenge recognize this state of zaduma at this time. For me it’s been a fun month, but far more busy than I expected with outside pulls on my attention, and I’m a bit reluctant to let go of the things as there are still so many blogs I haven’t had a chance to visit yet.
I was thinking about that when I woke up early this morning. To a misty cloudy dawn that not too much later turned into the stormy raining day that promises to stretch out into a stormy rainy week.
But before the rain came, I sat watching the clouds. It’s no secret I’m utterly enchanted by clouds. My heart loves them fiercely, and yet it’s hard to wrap my mind around them. That’s the beauty of the ephemeral for me I suppose. Science can explain particular types of clouds, but I always think of them as some peculiar shape-shifting tribe of ethereal magic. And for me, clouds can be such a helpful reminder of how energy moves; how things shift; how not to hold on so tightly; how powerful it can be to dance lightly.
I always smile at this Mark Twain quote:
“The air up there in the clouds is very pure and fine, bracing and delicious. And why shouldn’t it be – it is the same the angels breathe.”
I look at clouds and think about mythology and creation stories. I like imagining the Nephelai, who were considered by the Greeks to be the cloud nymphs who arose from the Earth, encompassing River Okeanos, bearing water to the heavens in cloudy pitchers.
I think about the charming tale that suggests elephants once had wings and flew amidst the clouds. One elephant, tiring after a long flight, decided to rest a bit by landing in a large, very old banyan tree. But alas the tree couldn’t support his hefty weight, and the branch he landed on cracked and fell upon a meditating yogi sitting under the tree. The man lost his temper and cursed away the wings of all elephants, who henceforth had to resort to walking.
Sitting watching the clouds, I thought about how one of the things my guidance is continuously urging me to do is find the spaciousness around things. To be clear this doesn’t really have anything to do with doing less, but rather allowing for a buffer of grace around things. I know, even as I write it, it’s not a concept that lends itself to clear written explanation. Like so many things you have to feel into it, and that’s always best done in our times of musing isn’t it?
My times of reverie are important to me, and at the same time they feel like such an integral part of me that I can’t separate them from my way of being. If I think of myself I see how lean into things in the manner of the circuitous dance of a crab on the beach – I approach things sideways.
So sitting on the porch this morning, sipping my Sleeping Dragon Cloud tea, I thought about clouds. About tea grown at great elevations in the Himalayas amid the clouds and mists. About how clouds are in this huge container of the sky, moving along, shifting easily, joining forces with other clouds, then breaking off and meandering on their own, creating wondrous images that last for a limited time and then are gone, but the possibility of other wondrous creations are there in every second.
And there it was. I decided being a cloud was a helpful metaphor and something I’m going to play around with as I look for some spaciousness as we move on from this month-long challenge into other projects.
My thanks to everyone who has stopped by, whether once or faithfully or any permutation between, for listening as I’ve given you a peek into my brain and the cabinet of wonders stored in there.
Now tell me about you. How are you feeling? Do you love the word zaduma? Are you a card-carrying member of the Cloud Appreciation Society? Ever had cloud tea? Do tell – you know Iove to hear.