“I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.” Alan Watts
I hear a ball bouncing, amidst the strains of unfamiliar, haunting music in the distance. I let the sound wash over me – of children laughing, talking, running, all mixed into one sound that my brain is trying to find a word for. I see flashes of my daughter running in between a few other kids, flashes of her smile. I close my eyes and take it all in, giving thanks for the moment.
I recall a time when I could not have sat this still, this grateful for such a moment.
It’s strange isn’t it – when you cannot plan for the future, the present is suddenly much more valuable. The uncertainty of tomorrow makes you want to guarantee today. Like a patient undergoing chemotherapy unaware of how it will end, like a mother waiting for her custody case in court to reach a decision, like the moment when you don’t know if you will see your grandparents again the next time you return for a holiday. Makes you want to make the present moment really count.
I think back to times when I would plan for the future. Those were great days, days when I had the full canvas of life to paint on. The world was my oyster and I could plan anything, anytime, anywhere. Now here I am, left with a tiny corner to create what I could, the rest locked in with various constraints – life a bowl of spaghetti, pulling one strand unraveling and tangling many others. A very uncertain future, which it always was but now with a number of known, difficult uncertainties. I don’t feel bad about it though – I realize that for all the canvas I had to play with earlier, those were just dreams, plans that floated on wishes with no certainty of being fulfilled. For all the dreaming in the past, nothing had come true till this point. And that is one of the mysterious truths of life – all we truly have is here and now. Our gratitude and focus on this exact moment is what will define the next one. It’s wonderful to have plans and its even more wonderful to have the luxury to make plans but if plans cannot be made, we still have everything we always had – this moment.
Life is in this moment – to reach over and hug a loved one, to sink onto your knees and whisper a prayer, to teach your child one more life skill, to make that phone call you always wanted to, to bury the hurt that’s consuming you…..this is the moment. Its wonderful, make the most of it! #GiftTheLight
"It's weird to think that in this very moment someone is lying alone on their death-bed balancing between life and death or someone's reuniting with an old lover tightly wrapped in a warm embrace or someone's writing a suicide note, pondering different ways to say goodbye. Right in this moment someone's heart is fluttering from a first kiss and someone's is breaking from a goodbye." Unknown