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The sunrise early in the am as the light creates stars on the lake. The colorful flowers that greet me each morning as the birds sing their songs of praise.
When something triggers me to here and now. That could be deliberate eg meditation or just awareness. Or it could be an appreciation of something mundane or awesome or that the mundane is in fact awesome.
How we reflect and appreciate the gift of life most at times of death and loss.
“You taught me the courage of stars before you left
How light carries on endlessly, even after death
With shortness of breath
You explained the infinite
And how rare and beautiful it is to even exist
I couldn’t help but ask for you to say it all again
I tried to write it down, but I could never find a pen
I’d give anything to hear you say it one more time
That the universe was made just to be seen by my eyes.”
“Saturn” by Sleeping at Last
That is so beautiful. My husband didn’t say it with words but he provided me everything before he died, I miss him but appreciate everything he left for me. Everything that surrounds me today is his gift of love.
Thank you dearly, Lydia.
Waking up on a first, snowy “snow day.” The luxury of seeing the falling snow from my warm bed. Everything and everyone seems to get more quiet and still.
And the blanket of white snow creates beauty on everything: on houses, trees and cars in the parking lot…
It is -4C here. The sun is shining brightly on a few feet of light, fresh powder snow. It has stopped snowing, and is too cold for the snow to start melting, for now. It is quiet, peaceful, and a perfect time to move outside to savor the fresh air.
I think Mary Oliver was onto something …
Hearing the birds singing this morning. Have not heard them in awhile as it has been raining a lot here. It was a pleasant surprise to hear their chirping & singing. Joy in the morning…..❤️
When I reflect upon the numerous times I have been given grace; how its is an utter miracle for me to be alive considering the choices I have made in the past. Others have not been so lucky. Yet here I am, with a beautiful 5 year old son who is my sunshine and also a complete miracle and blessing. My life is full of beauty, despite my many hardships and tribulations– and I am grateful.
Today’s question reminds me of a quote from one of Emily Dickinson’s letters, “Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough.”
What has helped me is to establish habits and practices, rituals if you will, that keep me grounded in the present moment. Noting the phases of the moon, hunting the wildflowers each season, growing things from seed, learning to identify (give attention to) the birds that frequent my backyard.
When I go about my daily routine, when I walk the same daily path again and again, I try and approach it with the mindset that within what seems like the very familiar, there is something new that can be discovered. Each moment is wholly unique in some way, each sunset or snowfall or summer thunderstorm, is something that will never appear or happen in quite the same way ever again. That adds a sense of novelty and possibility to the everyday, to the mundane.
Thanks Nicki. This resonates with me, touches on how it is for me. I’m glad to see how you describe it.
Pausing to be fully aware in the moment.
Looking at the sky and feeling the immensity.
Becoming aware of something about how my body works and being amazed at how seldom I need to think about it at all (I know I’m fortunate to have very good health).
Thinking about all the chances and odds, generation after generation from the beginning of life on Earth, that resulted in me being born.
Thank you, Barb C – I was thinking ‘clouds’ in answer to the question. I love watching them change, out my windows.
Plants growing in the spring, my children when they are sleeping, students who show great resilience
Witnessing the passage of time – a short month ago my Japanese maple tree had turned fire red for the fall , now it holds it’s last few leaves before standing bare. In a few more months it will light up again with its spring color and then settle into summers green. So I guess what I am trying to say is when I am fully alive and awake I notice life – the old, the young, the present that I am privileged to witness.
That makes sense!
Last Sunday, at the last family lunch, I was sitting next to my dad. He’s elderly. He pulls out his cell phone to show me what recipe he’s going to make next. I saw his hands shaking. He kept on talking but I mostly just focused on his hand. Instantly I got a little emotional, thinking “I still have you here. And being with you right now feels right. Nothing else in the world matters.” I love spending quality time with my dad.
Being present, I guess that is my answer for todays question, that kind of love. Not needing to grab hold of, worry or even express, just being present.
Thank you so much Nelson, for your reflection on the family lunch your Dad.
I have spent this week with my elderly father, and fly home today. I find it difficult to be with the feelings of being here with him, and knowing that this too shall pass. Perhaps I will focus on the very small moments, miracles and gifts he brings, just as you have done – to make it more manageable to take in. My Dad is remarkable in so many ways. Now seems a good time to take that in more deeply, breath by breath, and truly appreciate all that he is. Thank you!
I appreciate Christine’s reflection as well, that feelings help us open to the miracle of knowing that we are alive and that we exist.
Thanks, Nelson – I channel my dad as my hand shakes and struggles to do some small thing like threading a needle. His hands shook from such a long age, and it feels good to remember him when my hands shake.
What a wonderful moment to notice and fully inhabit.
Spending a moment with our elderly cat whose existence is impermanent, as is mine.
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