I did some yard work. Walked the dogs. Rested a lot. I didn't accomplish everything on my list, but everything that needed to get done got done. It was, in fact, a completely unremarkable weekend, but for a few exceptions—extraordinary moments of presence and gratitude.
The picture I used for this entry created one of those moments. More often than not, I watch the sunset from my front stoop with my boy, Kizzie. Sometimes I'm in the moment, but most of the time my mind wanders to chores or bills or work things or conversations I had or wish I'd had. My mind was in this soup of thought—a place it resides whenever I'm not writing or meditating—when I looked up and saw the moon between two cloud formations trying to decide whiter to be rain clouds, white clouds or pink ones. So I started taking pictures, then the moon disappeared behind a puff of cloud. So I sat there, rapt and barely breathing, with camera to eye, waiting for it to reappear again. Then I took this picture. (The moon is just a little north of center in this pic. It's hard to see when the pic is this small.)
When the shot was taken, I noticed that whatever furrowed brow I had before I saw the moon...whatever weight of thought I'd fallen under...was gone and it was replaced by a joyous grin. For a moment, I felt I wasn't just IN the moment, I'd transcended it. "Tierney" disappeared while the drama of the moon and cloud unfolded and when I returned to my body, I was revived.
I'm sure we've all had moments like this. I've just had a lot of them this past weekend. And I think I know why.
|The sun, breaking through heavy cloud cover to light Kizzie perfectly.|
Each of these moments, lived consciously, not only transported me, they overwhelmed me with gratitude about the sheer awesomeness of what we get to experience here on earth. I'm getting choked up just writing about it. This place we get to live is filled with indescribable beauty. I tried, this weekend, to imagine a place more beautiful and I didn't even know where to start! The experiences we get to have here are truly magical and ever-changing, too...a buffet of love. This body we inhabit, this mind we have and the senses we use to perceive it all are a miracle.
|Just before the sun broke through on Friday.|
For me, these realizations were different from the mind-blowing realizations we have when
|One more pic of Saturday's moon.|
We have no idea how long we'll be here. We have little control over what comes our way. But we do get to choose. We get to choose how we'll spend our limited time here and whether or not we're conscious of the beauty in ordinary moments. We get to choose how we respond to the things that cross our path—do we greet them with fear or love? And we get to decide whether or not the sun breaking through dark clouds hurts our eyes or illuminates new depths of our soul. Gratitude and conscious attention change everything.