Somehow in times like these it seems
all the more appropriate to stop, look, listen,
and appreciate all that we have.
There is a scene in Merchant Ivory's classic
"Howards End" that deeply resonates with
this homebody. We see Vanessa Redgrave
stroll about the grounds of her beloved home
at dusk. And at least for that moment it feels
as if everything is right with her world. Last
night we dined at the family homestead on
the edge of town. Post a quite lovely repast
our host - Frank's brother "B" suggested we
take a stroll. And so we all wandered along
a path overgrown with spring flowers to the
pond as the sun was slowly setting (above).
And suddenly, all was right with our world.
It's rather sad how easily each and every one
of us can be distracted from what in the end
is most important. Which is appreciating all
that we have. And... living in the moment.
Instead we overwhelm ourselves with life's
flotsam and jetsam. All of which shift our
eyes from the prize. Only to discover that
joy has been laying in wait - nearby in close
proximity. Hence happiness is always within
reach. We just have to stop, look, and listen.
And at least for me I find that dusk is that
time when the world stands still as I know
it. In those quiet moments magic happens.
One of my fondest memories is of a summer
evening long ago in rural Michigan. I recall
putting my two youngest children to sleep in
their beds as strains of Puccini and crickets
joined in a chorus in the background. As the
sun faded, the room took on a luminous glow.
Sitting there on the edge of the bed as I patted
their backs and stroked their hair I thanked
God for life itself. To this day said memory
remains one of my most golden moments.
One that I causes me to reflect on all that life
has been... and all that might have been. If
only I had known what was truly important.
You see friends, the best of life is always within
our grasp. All that's required to reach nirvana is
a willingness to embrace the here and now. To
stop worrying about what we don't have - and
savor all that we've got. Success is but a fleeting
victory at best. Well, at least as defined within
our rather vapid cultural context. Yet in the end
it's not the possessions one amasses that matter.
Rather it's treasures from the past that we hold
in our hearts that reap long term dividends. So
whatever you're doing, stop. Take a moment to
appreciate the moment. And in doing so you'll
discover that you are more than blessed. Enjoy!