Starting last week of the Big Holiday in Sydney and heading to Blue Mountains for singing and sights after I had built a little buffer in to recover from the jet lag and to re-enter my homeland.
Buffer zones have been a feature of past few weeks – that time and space you build in to your schedule to accommodate delayed flights, wrong turns and surprises.
The place of a buffer in your day has the potential for easier breathing. When you make space for a buffer you are giving your future self a gift of time to absorb or at least reduce the stress or shocks of the unexpected and unplanned. I have learnt buffers can come in the shape of people, places and empty spaces. You can make buffers for yourself or even be one for others.
Buffers have intentionality attached to them, while being completely agnostic about why they are needed. Only when they are required is their purpose validated. From time to time we are buffers for others, holding space, holding quiet, being in between, while the full extent of why we are there may not be immediately revealed. This kind of detachment to purpose and being defined by the arrival of a surprise, often unwelcome, defines us as much as any purpose we might define for ourselves.
Buffers come in and out of my life to protect and hold me to keep me safe is such a blessing. Like the spaces in the music critical for the sound to resonate and seep into the soul, so too do buffers enable thresholds to be noticed and traversed to enable the journey to continue.
Already this day buffers have delivered coffee, a friendly face, respite from negative thoughts, joyous sounds in four part harmony, lunch between friends and a walk in the sun.
Building in buffers as a self-care practice is providing the space for embers to be coaxed into life by bellows for sparks to fly.