Growing up, my older brothers never missed an opportunity to chime in with the comment, "that's a deep subject," whenever I happened to start a sentence with "Well ..." At the time, I didn’t really think about any deeper meaning. It was just annoying!
I also recall that my father often made an entirely different “well” reference when quoting 17th century historian Thomas Fuller:
You never know the worth of water til the well runs dry.
I don’t think I really understood this expression early in life since we didn’t have a well and I tended to look at the world quite literally. Water was never in scarce supply and, as a result, was not really valued for the important role it plays in every aspect of our lives. I took for granted that it would always be there and the risk of running out was nil.
Flash forward to now and thinking about mindfulness and what that means to every aspect of our lives. If we think of mindfulness as being aware of our current situation in a way that allows us to fully appreciate it in the moment, how often do we fail to see something very important or valuable?! What gets in the way of appreciating an experience for what it is rather than what it could be?
Take a moment right now to think of one thing that you may not be noticing since you believe it will always be there. A relationship. A job. Your health.
Now, commit to adopting a mindfulness practice that acknowledges the value of this one thing - even considering what it would be like to live without it. Consider the metaphor of a well which draws from an unseen source that may or may not continue.
Just as you may need to periodically "prime the pump," be intentional about the care and attention you give to the “wells” in your life that you may be taking for granted.
Don’t let your well run dry from neglect. And yes … I guess this is a deep subject!