Thinking about nothing

I find myself staring out the sliding glass door. I’m not sure that’s it’s daydreaming, really, because I’m not thinking about anything. At first glance out the window, I watch the trees waving in the breeze. I see the varied shades of green from palms to pines to bushes to grasses to lawn. I see the blue sky and the fluffy clouds. And then I “zone out” – my mind is wandering but to nothing in particular. I’m not mulling anything over, but if I feel a lingering thought, I might turn it towards God, into prayer.

I have a favorite spot in my house. It’s right here on the left end of the couch. This furthest cushion. The end table is next to me. There’s a lamp and box of tissues and coasters on the corner. I also have my journals – my daily one and my gratitude notebook. There’s plenty of room for my iPad and a snack. The end table is a few steps from the sliding door to the patio.

I have no idea how long I’ve been turned to the door and the outside beyond it. Time has stopped and I am frozen in this place: legs in front of me with my feet on the coffee table, pillow on my lap with this Chromebook on top, my hands on the keyboard but not typing. Shoulders down and relaxed. Head turned to the left, eyes on the distance. Jaw dropped, not clenched. Relaxed.

When I “come to,” I have no idea what I was thinking. But I’ve never believed it’s possible to not think. My mind is always planning or pondering or ruminating. I understand from books and presentations and confirming with the guys in my family (husband, son) that men have a “nothing box” – where they can mentally go and truly think about nothing. I wonder what that would be like to shut off my thoughts. Maybe I just did it.

I don’t count this as mindfulness exactly. I’m not aware of my thoughts, or even of the scenery after the first look. I’m not aware of time passing or sounds I might hear. I just sit and stare into the distance, not seeing. Here on the couch, with my gaze toward the palms, is the closest I come to the nothing box. It’s nice.