Stretched out on a lounge chair by the pool on an unusually warm fall day in San Diego, a magazine unopened by my side, my husband chats with a neighbor as they soak in the hot tub. The neighbor, an easy going, fun-loving, sporty guy, shares how hard it was for him to be himself when he held a corporate job. The neighbor’s two little girls squirt water from tubes into the pool, as an unhappy, housebound dog howls in the background. The next time my attention goes back to the men, they’re cracking jokes, their echoing laughter a kind of cave-man relief, which tells me again how much men need one another.
A waxing gibbous moon sits far, far way in the still blue sky, a lone palm in the foreground, I call them happy trees, towers high.
As my gaze shifts back and forth from the palm tree to the moon, I’m transfixed by this breathtaking, magnificent moment.
This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. -Psalm 118:24, ESV
When we embrace moments we enter an altar for thanksgiving. By living in the moment, we open to the wonders of God in our midst, not fretting about the future, or dwelling on the past.
Do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? Isaiah 43:18-19, NIV
Living in the now we embrace each breath, God’s creation brimming, our hearts stretching wide with devotion. Running this morning on my favorite beach, watching children tossed by shoreline waves, the azure sky arched above the grand Pacific, it’s surface glistening with diamond reflections from the beaming sun, I said a prayer. It went like this:
I had a wake-up call this week from Andrew, who some of you know blogs at Blessed Be the Pure of Heart, his words catapulting me from an unconscious fretting I realized had been ruling my week. You see, Andrew is dying and he writes about it. But he also writes about life, and offers profound lessons for those of us taking time and good health for granted. He writes:
“In this difficult passage, and in these particularly tough weeks, I’ve found my miracle. I really had it all along.
It’s this – I want to live, and I am living.
Fully, and the best way I can.
The miracle comes with the somewhat surprising understanding that I’m OK with this, with the process of being terminally ill.
There are many things I won’t get to do, sure. But life’s like that anyway.
I expected to resent this, knowing that I would one day face the situation squarely. Hey, I can do denial with the best of ’em!
But the thing is, life really isn’t about plans and dreams. Life isn’t about tomorrow. It’s about now, because now is all we ever have.”
During this Thanksgiving week, will you join me in embracing your fleeting, God-filled moments, and offer a few simple prayers on the altar of your moments.
Thank you God.
Thank you God
Thank you God.
During this Thanksgiving week, will you tell someone you love them, with utmost attention, like Andrew tells his wife Barbara:
“There is a clarity here, and each moment has become precious. When I kiss Barbara goodbye in the morning, I do it with more care – it’s no longer a perfunctory see-you-later peck. Nor is it a passionate let’s have-sex-tonight smootch.
It’s far more than the former, and far more than the latter. It’s this –
I appreciate you, and I love you, and I will look forward to seeing you tonight, when you return.”
During this Thanksgiving week, will you take a walk, smile at trees, breathe in a cool, slow breath, exhaling a long, slow thanks? Will you, as Wendell Berry says, go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds...and come into the peace of wild things? Will you become like a poem, exalted on high, and kneel? Will you love better today?
This Thanksgiving week I give thanks to you all, new friends and old, I send you blessings! May you all be lost in wonder, hearts full, with gratefulness abounding!
“To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.”
― William Blake, Auguries of Innocence
HAVE A BLESSED THANKSGIVING!
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