On Presence

This past Fall I saw the most adorable “confrontation.” My six-month old kitten, weighing in at just over 5 pounds; and a young spotted deer.

I walked out on the front stoop, glass of wine in hand – had just finished skimming Facebook for what I am sure seemed like five minutes but was more like, um; thirty. I was enjoying the last few moments of peace before someone asked me “what’s for dinner;” and immediately, I realize what I almost missed. THIS is happening; in my, literal, front yard. MY life was happening, just outside my door. But I was; busy. I was looking at adorable quotes; pictures of other people’s lives; instead of living my own.

deer picAlmost.

The tiny deer’s tail was flicking, back and forth; she was only about 15 feet across the driveway. The teeny kitten; stock-still; mesmerized. This moving thing was clearly larger than the katydids and grasshoppers she has been entertaining herself with. And I got to watch; I was inside and outside of the situation. Those moments you are granted that access as witness are magical indeed.

It feels a lot like watching my eldest child become a high school senior. I get to watch her grow and evolve; I am inside and outside of the situation because I can no longer protect her from her life and her choices. And I’m wondering — am I missing things that I should not miss – that I could regret. Am I too damn busy to notice? There are other children to tend to, a business, a boyfriend, a LIFE. Distractions! Deadlines! Responsibilities!

I try to remember that one reason I teach yoga, mindfulness, meditation — is because I must be reminded – over and over – that the present moment IS all there is.

A quick update on the kitten situation. After a few long but short moments, the deer gave a snort; and lightly bounced over the hill. The kitten followed; for a bit. And quickly ran back, looking for a scratch under the chin, and dinner.

There are a million beautiful pictures; beautiful quotes; beautiful people. Some of them are completely worthy of my attention. But, in the end; when I’ve given this life my last breath; what will I wish for? One more virtual moment? Or one more moment of MY life?



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