Today I hope I can be a loyal follower of the present moment. As each moment makes its way across the landscape of the day, I don’t really need to do anything myself except quietly follow and be steadily surprised by what’s unfolding before me. I can be a quiet companion as the day discloses its surprises – a loyal supporter and admirer, going along with each moment just for the joy of seeing it and appreciating it. Of course, this day might lead me along some roads of discomfort or sadness, but even then I hope I can be faithful companion, just walking beside the infinitely wise present moment, watching and learning and being quietly thankful that I can follow such a sensible guide.
(on Sanibel Island)
This is flat country,
perfect for following life,
just floating along
and letting life
unfold the way
it wishes to.
You’ll wonder where
it’s leading you,
but light and warmth
will work in thoughtful ways
to comfort you,
and millions of beautiful,
will help you accomplish
of following life
like a fervent, loosened up
It’s easy for me to lose sight of the fact that everything in life is important – every occurrence, person, thing, and thought. Nothing happens except the useful and the momentous. Each moment today will be far-reaching in its value to me and to the universe. Every breath I take will be of immeasurable benefit, and each feeling that flows through me will be somehow pivotal. The earth will slowly spin, and all of its slight movements will be indispensable. I so often get lost in the apparent unimportance of moment-by-moment happenings, but today I hope I can be alert to the preeminence of even the smallest things – the tick-tock of the clock in our living room, the look of the lamplight on my notes on my desk, the sounds of tires in streets. Every moment today will have prestige, as though its grandness goes beyond that of the sun and stars. Every thought, in a secret and miraculous way, will be entirely epoch-making. Today, truly, will be historic. I should probably take meticulous notes as it discloses its prominence.
(about Ellie G. 42, Blessings, CT)
One day, Ellie arrived
at the most important moment
of her life,
and it was right now,
at this moment in time.
She saw that she was currently
precisely where she should be,
that presently she was in the midst
of a vast power.
She understood that,
she was living the life
the universe designed for her,
and that, this minute, this instant,
she was standing
in the exact center of that life.
Life was immediately all hers,
and power was being promptly presented to her.
she was delighted with everything.
She stood very still,
and smiled –
which she still does,
Today, lucky for 80-year-old me, I will be like a traveler on a brand-new trail, following a trusted and all-wise guide called ‘life’. My life will be a fortunate ‘finder’ – all day long. Each hour, it will unearth amazing discoveries for me to enjoy, and in every moment it will chance upon miraculous wonders. Small and large displays of goodness will be sniffed out for me to appreciate. Life and I together will stumble upon astonishing surprises – the look of early light outside as I sit at my desk, the sound of Delycia preparing her breakfast in the kitchen, even the soft sounds of our footsteps on the carpet. Life, today, will come across situations never before experienced in the history of the universe, and I will be there to stand in wonder and reverence. What’s truly interesting is that ‘I’ will not be doing the finding. Life itself will be the pioneer and discoverer, and I will be beside it as its fortunate friend, grateful to be in the presence of such an astute and skillful explorer.
Whenever I ask Delycia what her ‘favorite’ something is – book, song, season, vacation, etc. – she usually says it’s too hard to choose, and I’m slowly understanding what she means. In a universe filled with limitless treasures, how can I designate my most-liked? When I’m presented with miracles moment after moment all day long, is it really possible, at the end of the day, to pick my best-loved? Of all the beautiful breaths I take today, can I conceivably say at bedtime, ‘Oh yes, the breath I took at 7:02 pm was my absolute favorite’? I now see what my wife might mean about the difficulty of choosing favorites. It’s just too hard to prefer one jewel out of the day-long, boundless flood of them. Every scene I see today will be a mysterious marvel, and rather than singling out favorites, I’d best just be astonished – and grateful – moment after moment.
This simple but special day, like all of them, will be what I would call an ‘introducer ‘, and a very good one, too. If I keep my eyes and heart open, this day will propose brand-new plans and strategies for me, and suggest the freshest and best ways to appreciate life. All day long, astonishing activities will be formally presented: my fingers dancing with elderly flair across the computer keyboard, water freely running from the faucet when I turn the handle, my old, happy hand stroking my unshaven cheek. Everything will get going every moment. Brightness will seem to begin wherever I look. A new miracle will be formally presented when I sip my coffee, or take a taste of a plum, or let my head effortlessly turn. This day will put forward a new type of friendliness, even in the way my two legs love working together as I walk.
Please, dear day, set in motion your marvels. I am ready.
Below are some scenes from our walk yesterday on the Beebe Pond trail …
… and, two photos from the top of the Coogan Preserve trail today, where I was resting after a tough climb on my bike …
… and, our friendship poem for yesterday, and some of Delycia’s lovely flowers, inside and outside …
I would love to feel lots of energy today, and it should be easy to do, since I belong to a universe made of endless energy. Actually, I can’t avoid being perked up today, all day, since I am part of an endlessly vast universe made of endlessly vast vitality. I probably won’t always feel this inner vitality, but it will definitely always be there – my 37 trillion cells working freely and fluidly, my breath coming and going with reliable buoyancy, thoughts constantly zipping around inside me. I may sometimes feel fatigued today, but the universe that I am an important and inseparable part of will never be wearied of working its little and large miracles. When I feel sapped and drained, perhaps I should just watch, for a while, the tree limbs in our yard endlessly flowing and shifting with the steady – though invisible – movements of the air, or maybe I should simply pause for a few moments and feel the reliable rise and fall of my belly as my body does its dependable breathing with quiet exuberance. There will be forcefulness in every moment today, even in simply the fact that each moment will be made fresh and brand-new before my eyes. Today’s dynamism will be unlike any other day’s, always crisp in its newness. I just need to stay alert to the pizzazz and punch that will be always happening inside and all around me.
And two scenes from our morning walk in the seaside village of Noank …
The word ‘implicit’ derives from the Latin word meaning ‘entwined’, and, as I look outside at 6:09 on this spring morning, I know marvelous miracles are secretly entwined in everything. The trees are not speaking directly, of course, but implicit in their silence and dignity is a message of consummate peace. Unstated in the cloud-filled sky is the graceful wisdom of nature, and every leaf on the rhododendron bush sends a beautiful underlying message. Indeed, inherent in everything I experience today will be subtle and far-spreading truths, if I can just take the time to carefully look and see. Even in seemingly silent moments, a joyous serenity will be implicit – unstated, but steady and endless.
Each moment today, amazing structures will be built, though not of the solid, measurable kind. The vast universe will be constantly swirling in perfect unison in order to construct wonders never seen before – fresh thoughts, newfangled feelings, scenes assembled like sleight-of-hand magic. I’ve often thought of myself as truly the most important ‘builder’, the one who is responsible for ‘making’ my life useful and successful, but I see now that the immense universe – life itself – is the only designer and laborer, and all I have to do is watch and be filled with wonder. Today, like loyal and talented construction workers, thoughts and feelings and scenes and sounds will be building marvelous ‘structures’ all day long, and I will be ‘touring’ these miracles and feeling happily bewildered by their beauty. I wish myself a delightful journey!
And here are two happy bike-riding buddies today, on the beautiful bike trail in Kingston, RI …
I hope I can learn to be a better watcher. Miracles are made each moment of every day, and I want to be a more steadfast and serious observer of them. Most days, I’m lost on side-trips in my head, following the flow of my roving, fitful thoughts, but I hope I can learn to stay alert, and truly watch. Each present moment is a marvel – a never-before-seen performance, a new and limitless wonder – and how better can I spend a day than feasting my eyes on these unfolding phenomena? Of course, I’ll be doing things every day, but at the same time I can be watching – carefully scanning the wondrous spectacle of each moment. Maybe I can learn how to do and watch at the same time, how to be both a meticulous do-er and a vigilant watcher.
Below, scenes from our 3-mile walk this morning at the Coogan Farm Preserve…
In the early morning, like right now as I’m typing at my desk, the coming day often seems littered with obstacles – projects and duties and to-do’s that stand among the coming hours like complicated barricades. I often feel like I have to carefully evaluate these obstacles – push them and prod them and poke them until they finally give way and move aside. A coming day, in this scenario, can loom like an endless series of adverse encounters and contests.
Another view of a coming day is to see it for what it actually always is – a wide-open and boundless land of opportunity. Every moment is made of endless constructive possibilities. The horizon of each hour stretches out for limitless miles and miles, and all I have to do, each moment, is see the ever-present open door and walk through it. The only obstacles in this coming day, truly, will be constructed by my own thoughts. For some strange reason, I have an 80-year-old habit of building barriers with my thinking, and then feeling frustrated because I can’t get around them.
This day, February 5, 2022, will be totally unfastened – as clear and passable as the wide open sky. Yes, my thoughts will seem to close a lot of make-believe doors as the hours pass, but the fact remains that openness will really be all there is. I should be stunned, all day, by the views.