Everything I see, hear, smell, feel…it is all mine in this moment.
Look around you right now, wherever you are.
That sun shining through the window, or the trees, or the pitter patter of the rain, or the colors of the sunset…they are FOR YOU. They are yours in this moment.
As I write, I am surrounded by trees (probably one of my favorite things in this beautiful world), and within those majestic, swaying, peaceful towers there is life happening all over. Birds are chirping and flitting about, squirrels are scrambling up and down, blue jays are cawing and dive bombing the bird feeder. Then there are the songs of the cicadas, further up in the trees, which come and go like the waves on the beach, growing to their crescendo and then fading back into silence. Every so often the ongoing music of the woods is interrupted by the loud and rhythmic knocking of the pileated woodpeckers who live in the forest, followed by their exotic cries and it thrills me still – even though we have now lived here for three months. Then I hear the peaceful breeze in the rustling leaves up above…
There is also the comforting presence of my furry friend and faithful companion Nala, who sits and intently listens to nature’s symphony out here, waiting to hear the little squeak of the chipmunk who teases her daily.
The hummingbirds who come and silently feed – I stalk them the way Nala stalks the squirrels. Constantly looking up to see if they are hovering at the feeder. One of them just chased away another one, who is now hiding in the tree and waiting for the possessive maniac to retreat deeper into the forest become attempting to come feed. It must be the male. There must be an unspoken law of nature that says that the female controls the food – and if he attempts to eat without her permission there is a swift scolding and chase that ensues. Similar to my husband picking at dinner before it is ready. But every time I glimpse them I feel like I won something.
What I want you to understand about all of this life and beauty around me is that it is all MINE right now. I am the richest woman on the planet! The sun is shining for me. The birds and cicadas are singing for me. The beautiful breeze is here to caress my cheek.
It is all mine, but I don’t get to keep it.
I get to enjoy it in the PRESENT moment. In this present moment I own it all – I take it in, I am thankful for it as I become aware and conscious of it. It fills me.
And then I have to release it – because I can take none of it with me.
But I want to make clear that this is a type of owning that is in fact much more satisfying that the traditional type.
As I sit here, owning the universe of my backyard, it is Prime day, which some of you are familiar with. Millions of people today are trying to own things by getting a good deal and free shipping and then storing it in their castle – where it has become their very own.
While there is nothing I can pay to buy such peaceful soul-filling moments as the ones I experience on the deck, I can still own them. They are a gift, and unless I become fully aware and conscious of them, I could easily let it slip by unnoticed… then it is lost forever to me. Yet this moment too will be gone soon…so really, what’s the point?
I was enriched by this one. It was mine for a few moments. And really that is all we have. Mere moments to become aware of the beauty and the richness around us – gifted to us – everyday.
The presence of a loved one, their laugh, smile, the smell of good food cooking, the buzz of happy bees, the cat curled up in your lap, the baby curiously touching your face…every simply joy and pleasure that we often overlook because we are stuck in our head (or our cell phone) – those are the things that make life rich – they make US rich.
It is all mine in this moment. The sunset, the waves, the birds, the people, But here is the important part: none of it is mine to keep. Even the highly anticipated amazon boxes arriving at our doorsteps. None of it is ours to keep.
It is all fleeting, and the only way to benefit from it is to be fully present with it and enjoy it – be grateful for it. Then you will be richer for it.
Because this isn’t to say that we cannot appreciate and be enriched by physical things. I just sold my 6 speed MINI yesterday and it made me so sad…because although it was a thing, it brought me many wonderful driving experiences. The feel of the car as I would shift over the hills and around the turns, the awesome sound system, the fun colored lights, how cute it looked with its little red mirrors…all of those things brought me joy every time I used it. And I was aware of the experience, and thankful for it, so it became more than just a thing sitting in my driveway and getting me to work.
And I know that come August, when I return to my crazy morning routine of running out the door at 6:30am, I will miss my peace filled mornings on the deck. So I soak it in by BEING PRESENT, AWARE, and THANKFUL.
It’s all any of us can do.
Then it becomes a part of me, and I am richer for it.
You are only as rich as you are grateful – and you can only be grateful if you recognize the gift. Learn to look around you for all of the richness life gives you everyday!
Everything and nothing is mine – everything is mine in the moment, but nothing is mine to keep.
If I can live with the reality of that balance at the forefront of my mind, I hope to live the richest life possible, taking nothing for granted, fully appreciating and being enriched by all that is around me, and then learning to release it when the time comes. All I ever really have is this very moment.
May we learn to make the most of the life we are given by emptying each moment of its beauty as we collect it on our way. Once it is part of us, we truly own it.