Every day it’s the same: she gallops down the bluff toward me and then abruptly stops in her tracks, nervously watching out of the corner of her eye to determine whether I am friend or foe. Before her arrival, I’ve been sitting transfixed in stillness. Here she now stands, stock-still, while I sit motionless. We gaze non-committedly at each other for several moments before the honey-coloured deer darts off in search of other adventures in the neighbourhood. Her appearance not only adds to the reverie of the moment, I witness her presence with heartfelt gratitude for such a place of peace in which to experience my oneness with all things.

Until a couple of months ago, what was supposed to be the back patio was just a vacant grimy, mildewed slab of concrete. It certainly didn’t entice me to go out and take advantage of the spectacular view of the meadow bluff, looming unexpectedly at the back of the house in an otherwise cookie-cutter housing development.

When I moved into my home five years ago, I had such grand ideas in mind for what I wanted to create out there but then found I had neither the time nor the budget to realize my dream. However, as I was to discover, it didn’t take nearly as much to transform the space as I’d first anticipated.

In the last several weeks I had the concrete slab power-washed and sealed; added some seating and a couple of side tables; assembled a collection of plants to form a focal point and, voilà! I now have this beautiful sacred space that acts as my Zen-like meditation garden.

At dusk it’s a charmingly romantic candle-lit space, where I sit and watch the glinting stars instead of the glare of the computer or TV screen. In the mornings, I love to step into this new outdoor spot and become enveloped in the hum and energy of early dawn igniting my senses.

I appreciate the rising sun’s first blushes brushing the meadow’s cheeks, and then turn my gaze to the flicker of the candles. I smell the feint aroma of incense plumes swirling around the peace-inducing Buddha garden statue. I listen to the agreeable sound of the bell-shaped wind chimes dangling in the breeze, and the tinkling flow of the water fountain, which acts as a melodic backdrop to the birds waltzing from tree to tree, harmonizing their morning chorus.

Ushered gently into a quiet place of pause, I repose in my wicker chair to pray, meditate, and journal – and watch, as the dauntless doe jaunts down the bluff for her morning dose of stillness.

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