One of the most meaningful things that I have learned during this prolonged time of pandemic is the Power of the Present Moment.
I am such an “interior” person that I miss out on a lot. A whole lot. I only have my patio door/window at one end of my living space, and I don’t look out of that very often at all. Maybe for thunderstorms and blizzards I’ll stand and watch over nature’s most elegant bounties.
So it was a magical morning recently when I was caught by surprise by a moving shadow above my kitchen cupboards. I had been sitting at my counter, where I do all my creative work, my head down and my mind taken up with concentrating on the visible things right in front of me.
I happened to look up. What made me do that? What made me look way up – above the cupboards across my little kitchen – to see the shadows of a four-year-old tree, waving its branches with huge leaves, dancing up and down on the small space on my wall?! The wind waved them to and fro, now stopping its arc for a second before whooshing them down, down and up, up again.
My heart burst open in those seconds. I was filled with such surprised delight! I looked all around me to see how this had come to entertain me on this most amazing morning! There it was – the shaft of sunlight that had reached just the exact angle to catch the dancing tree limbs, flinging their leaves back and forth with abandon, and projecting them into my introverted space, perhaps because I needed this whimsy so much.
I had to save this – for I would want this laughter of the dance again! I grabbed my iPad and began the video. I wasn’t close enough, so I moved into the kitchen to catch the wall without interference. I filmed again. I turned around, then…to watch the shaft of light doing its thing. And in seconds, it was gone. And so was the dancing tree on my wall.
Light and wind have not cooperated the same way since. It was a one-moment deal. And I could so easily have missed it. If it were to come again, I would only laugh and cheer and bathe myself in the wonder of it all. No filming. Just be there. In the moment.
Then again last Sunday, I was caught unexpectedly again by nature’s grand dance in the blacks and greys and whites of the storm clouds that were revolving across our path in my neighborhood. It was a spectacular display, and again, I nearly missed it.
I had fallen asleep in my easy chair to the thunder and lightning that was ruling the world for a while that afternoon. But I awoke when the world became quiet again. And again, I looked up – and also out – at just the right, magical moment when nature danced in the sky and wonder showed up in my heart!
Cloud shapes were in a hurry. The darker, lacy clouds in front were swishing themselves clockwise across the sky at a good clip. Flaunting themselves like eager little children as they rushed by. Behind them was the enormous background of the huge cumulus clouds, gathered in a grand circle, black and grey and white altogether. And they appeared to slowly, elegantly turn the weight of the turning world counterclockwise in an enormous, slowly moving merry-go-round of a Grand Parade. The sun shone on the white clouds to the left, and the blue of the un-stormed space in the middle was lit with gold. I think I stopped breathing for a moment – or two – or more. I heard myself letting out my breath in a wondrous exhalation of pure delight and wonder.
Were they waiting to be noticed, or were they simply flinging themselves out there for the joy of it all?
I was totally caught up in the moments as they rushed by. It was as if I were seeing the storm-drenched sky for the first time in my life. I was awash in the grace of those unexpected moments.
Shortly after these delicious dances, the whole mixture had, of course, changed. And now the pièce de résistance appeared: the glorious golden shaft of light, straight from heaven to earth, my little place on this earth. And a whimsical white cloudy dinosaur, heading in to eat the sun perhaps! Did I laugh? Oh, yes, I laughed!
I don’t ever remember being so totally captivated by nature as I was in those two events. Surely not for a very long time. Children see them, perhaps because they’re so much more aware, so much less burdened by their inner landscape.
Awareness of what is right before us can be the key to the deepest joys that we have.
I’ve not been aware enough for too long. If this is the beginning of a better sense of the NOW – then I can’t wait to see what else is going to show up!