Friday, February 20, 2015

wherever you are, be all there.


I was a block away from the traffic light, and it was red. I was late and didn't want to slow down. Just before I lifted my foot off the accelerator, the light turned green. "Thank you," I breathed.
These days, tired of trying to figure it all out, I had stopped praying "please, please, please" and had started saying "thank you, thank you, thank you" instead. Beginning with the obvious blessings in my life - my kids, my friends, my health, the effort Claude and I were putting into our marriage - once I started, I found that I couldn't stop. The more I looked, the more I found. Soon I was thanking everything: trees for their shade, sweaters for their comfort, dogs for their fur.
Gratitude had begun to transform the way I saw and experienced my life. Because of it, I could see that each moment contained something to be thankful for, even if it was simply the gift of another breath. I was reminded of Hannah and the way she harvested kernals of joy almost everywhere she looked. The practice of being present with what was happening was far more than an exercise in positive thinking: it was a return to the deep stillness she had shared with me.
Within that stillness, I began to realize an even more awesome thing. No single moment stood on its own; each was a combination of all those that came before and all those that would come after. There was a pattern, an intelligence, in the way they were woven together that seemed to suggest that I was not living my life; my life was living me.

―Maria Housden (from her beautiful book, Hannah's Gift: Lessons from a Life Fully Lived)