We celebrated the end of summer by taking a road trip to Show Low, a place of refuge in the desert. This past weekend smelled of crisp mornings of timid sunshine and the sounds of water running across a stream of rocks in a creek. The pine trees emitted a scent of rosemary and green lush forests decorated mountaintops. My daughter collected small pine cones that she called “acorns”, ate smores, and ran around barefoot on the golf course.
My mind reflected on this place and its peaceful aura, but because I am so focused on worshipping a past memory or anticipating the future, I robbed myself of really sinking into the beauty and stillness that surrounded me. It is an inner restlessness that I constantly battle. I write about living in the present and realize that the substance of life exists in reminding yourself of now, not of before or later, but I am wholly unable to put the present in practice. What keeps inhibiting me from getting there?
Events that have occurred in the last few weeks have led to an important epiphany. My mind is always anticipating. I anticipate the beginnings and endings and hellos and goodbyes, when really, the essence of life exists in continuum. My need to fixate on anticipating is sabotaging my desire to live in the present. What will happen tomorrow? Will I be prepared? How will this work? These are often questions in my mind. My feet feel as if they are always dangling, wondering where they will land next.
As we packed up our bags, I heard my daughter laughing with purpose. The sounds of the creek echoed in the background and the smell of pine grazed my nose as I stood still. Don’t move, I told myself. Enjoy now. Will yourself to feel the energy of embracing the moment. Smiling to myself, I realized the strength of that second.
I do this too. Constantly. And I’m contantly telling myself to quit it! 🙂
I have spent most of my life living in the past or the future and have only begun to live in the now, and even with lots of practice it still takes constant effort on my part as it is easily to get lost in memories or dreams.
Living in the moment is so difficult. Living deliberately even harder. But it’s moments like these that build a foundation for doing so more frequently.
Absolutely love Show Low. :o) Great place to visit. The White Mountains have so many places to visit and just breathe.
I did this while in Sedona in July. We went away for a couple of days before my Father passed to enjoy a little time away as we had spent a few weeks back east with him and my family at the end of his Cancer. I was awakened in the middle of the night by him calling my phone… twice. I answered and there was no response. Being as though it was the middle of the night and we were all in a hotel, I went into the bathroom to call him back and there was no answer. These were the last two times that my Dad called my phone was on 29 July. He passed away on the 30th. Just 3 hours after he tried to text me. I never received it as he wasn’t strong enough to send it through. I saw it when I got back to Maryland and saw that he was trying to text me from his phone that I gave him. I do know that although we didn’t speak, my last two texts to him were, “I miss you” and “I love you.”
I can’t enjoy the present either, Rudri, as I am living in the past or dreaming about the future.
When can you enjoy the people, sights, sounds, smells and tastes again, Rudri? I feel as though a part of me died with him because he is a half of me. ;(
Thank you for the reminder to stay in the moment. As I prepare to start back to school, I have been worrying about the future; I know all we have is the moment, and taking care of the moment, being really immersed in it, moves us into the future with grace, and creates a past with memorable moments. That is why I love creating art; the artistic process is truly immersion in the present.
I love the reminder to stop moving. To be now, and nowhere else. I am not good at that, but I want to be.
I do this too. I force myself to stay in the moment when it happens. I tell myself to stop and engage in the moment. Keep practicing and it will get easier. It sounds like you had a lovely time…I am happy for that!