Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The oh-so-forgotten present moment!

Reading the following article during my break time made me grab the camera we have at work and step outside for a few minutes to take pictures of some of the beautiful trees in bloom around our block on a gorgeous spring morning. It helped me to remember to look around and appreciate the gifts I have been given right here, right now.

Seasons of the Present Moment
Posted By Sarah Reinhard

Ecclesiastes tells us that there are seasons for everything:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant.
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to tear down, and a time to build.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them; a time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces.
A time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away.
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to be silent, and a time to speak.
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace (Ecclesiastes 3:2-8, NAB).

I’ve heard this passage many times, mostly at funerals, but the other night, during one of the harder-than-usual interruptions in the middle of the night, I realized just how hard it is for me to accept the current season of my life.

I’m always looking forward at what can, could, and should be done. My gaze seeks the possibilities, the likelihoods, the opportunities — often at the expense of the present moment.

Outside, the world is in bloom. The spring flowers have made their appearance and I know from experience how quickly they will fade. Spring won’t last long, so I have to appreciate it while it’s here. Sometimes that means sacrificing inside chores for outdoor play. It means diving for my camera and getting my sandaled toes wet in the morning grass as I try to capture the colors. It is a brief respite from winter cold and a pause before summer heat.

Spring is a time of frenetic activity, whether or not you have a ball schedule to keep. There’s hustle and bustle enough to make anyone weary, and I need to remember to look around me — to pause — lest the season slip away while I’m busy.

Inside, my world celebrates a different sort of spring: my two young children blossom anew everyday, opening their eyes wide at the wonder around them as they discover something new — again and again — with enthusiasm I’d do well to embrace. They keep me busy and they make me better, if only I slow down long enough from my looking forward to enjoy the gift of “now” they give me.

I’m in the spring of my motherhood, where the blooms are fresh and new, the days long and the nights short, the weather a bit unpredictable despite reassuring forecasts. This springtime won’t last long, for the children will grow fast and I’ll soon be one of the women advising “Enjoy them while they’re little” before I know it.

Spring is beautiful, but it’s not always easy. It’s enjoyable, but it’s often fraught with thunderstorms. It’s busy, but it’s full of reminders of grace and moments of joy.

Even as I plan my summer, let me not forget to enjoy the spring. While I wonder about winter, let me look heavenward NOW to find the strength to stop and savor the spring. As I anticipate autumn adventures, let me remember the gentle moments, so quickly passing, of spring.