Friday, January 21, 2011

This Present Moment

As I awoke this morning and looked out, I saw a hard frost covering the expansive view outside the upstairs windows of my mother’s house. Cold, hard, glittering, beautiful. The early light from the sunrise enhanced the silver tones of frost, producing an intriguing monotone effect.

A touch on the thermostat almost immediately sent warm air into the chilly room, and I retreated to the covers a bit longer to savor the experience and prepare mentally for the day.

I’ve spent the week doing major revisions on the book I accidentally began last fall when I wrote extensively of my experiences during my mother’s decline, entrance into Hospice care, her death, and my flattening grief and eventual recovery from that grief afterward. I came here to write because I know that the present also encompasses the past, and here in this place, I could most thoroughly bring the past into the present and learn from both.

This journey into death, how we die, our national inability to deal particularly well with this inevitability, has also been a journey of self-discovery. When I choose to be still long enough, I can almost feel the cells in my body changing, some dying, some being reborn. As I age, the balance changes: more dying than being reborn, until someday, I too, will leave this part of existence behind.

All this brings me to this one moment, the only moment I can live at any given time. Just this one, just this present time. All of my past is here, and so is all of my future. I enjoy the companionship of a cup of hot tea, think of friends, pray for the suffering, plan the tasks for the day, and all of this is surrounded by thankfulness for this moment of life. 

When gratefulness will not inform my day, I lose my soul. I find it easy today, for I am warm and comforted. Some days I find it nearly impossible, but when I chose to push past the impossible and still say, “Thank You,” the present again emerges with its joy and power and I find strength.

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