You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.
― Henry David Thoreau
It’s Labor Day, the official end of summer – and what a summer it was! Now I’m back to work, happy to see my piano students again; settling into a routine of teaching, playing, writing and jewelry making; beginning to pay the bills from the home improvements projects I tackled in June and July.
So much good stuff! But then my dog had to have surgery and waiting for a referral to a urologist because the CT scan showed that the on-again-off-again pain I have been having since last spring is indeed caused by kidney stones. And I miss being with my ex-fiance – at least, I miss the way things were with us in the beginning. There’s a part of me that still can’t quite believe it is over between us, making it impossible to truly let him go. Recently the thought occurred to me that in the thirteen years since my divorce I have had four marriage proposals and been engaged twice – and I’m still single. What’s the common denominator in all that? Me.
Last May, I signed up to participate in Jennifer Boykin‘s June Reclaim the Sass challenge. But when June first rolled around, I barely paid attention to the daily emails she sent me. How could I, wrapping up my academic year and preparing for two student piano recitals while reeling from the reality of my break-up? Well, it turns out my participation in the June challenge automatically signed me up for the September challenge, which started TODAY. This month’s theme is Coming to Your Senses. Intrigued, I watched the first video (click HERE). It was only four minutes long but it was just what I needed.
Following Jennifer’s advice, I collected sounds as I went on my morning walk through the neighborhood. My goal is three miles a day which usually takes me 50-60 minutes, depending on the heat. RunKeeper tracks my distance, freeing my mind to go in a million different directions – everything from making a mental list of all the things I need to do to to making a mental list of all the things I have ever done wrong over the course of my entire life. Today, even though my thoughts looped in those old familiar ruts, reminding myself of my mission – to collect sounds – brought me right back into the moment.
The singing of the tree frogs. The chirping of a bird. The barking of a dog. The flapping of a flag. The scraping of a scooter. The whirring of an air conditioner. The roaring of a lawn mower. The slapping of my sneakers against the asphalt. The rippling of the creek. The shy “hello” from a little girl wearing a pink dress. Every single sound brought a smile to my face. It was the best walk I have had in a good long time. I was doing more than just putting one foot in front of the other. I was truly connecting with the world around me.
Age has given me the gift of me; it just gave me what I was always longing for, which was to get to be the woman I’ve already dreamt of being.
― Anne Lamott
None of us knows what the future has in store for us. Maybe I will find romantic love again; maybe not. What I do know is that I have a wonderful life right now – filled with family and friends and children and music and opportunity and beauty, so much beauty – if I just take the time to notice.
To join this month’s Reclaim the Sass challenge, click HERE.