Being mindful, staying only in the moment, is both essential to me and a constant struggle. I imagine, sometimes, that I am trapped in resin, thick, translucent and golden; there is only this time and this experience. The past is visible but unreachable, and the future is obscured by tiny opaque flecks of the unknown. It is my charter not only to stay present, but to be grateful for what is so often lost in my mind’s fretful flitting from the unchangeable past to the unseeable future. There is so much to fill my senses right here, and right now that it’s a kind of psychic gluttony to stuff myself with memories or worries.
This morning, waking up to the triple threat of rain, darkness and Monday, facing a day filled with anxious-making things, I decided to meditate on gratitude, and to meditate in writing rather than “sitting” as I usually do. I am going to take my usual 20 minutes and use them to think of the things for which I am grateful in moments of true presence. I will begin with….
The impossible pinkness of the begonias blooming on my desk against the dark, wet, greens and grays beyond the window.
Knowing that hard work has been done, and that I have earned the luxurious descent into a soft seat, newspaper in hand, hot tea at my side, and reading glasses on my nose
The swift, delicate approval of a moody teenager, like deliciously scented smoke to breathe in with a rush of pleasure, making no attempt to analyze conditions, capture the moment, or do anything other than wonder at my luck.
The intensity of deep connection with another human being, all guards lowered, a current of understanding moving across boundaries of age, status, flesh and bone
Being chosen by a cat, feeling the warm pressure of a small body pressing close for warmth and knowing that the gentle vibrations are signs that my mere presence is a source of pleasure
The second when the splinter is removed, the headache ends, the painfully tight shoes come off and there is nothing but relief
Looking out at the ocean, hearing the waves hit the shore, and letting their rhythm become mine. I am just another organism on the damp sand, part of the whole that is blue sky, grey-green water, wheeling gulls, sleeping crabs and distant sailors
This moment, right now.