The dance

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.” Buddha.  This moment is all that we have.  Did you smell a flower today, witness a sunset, feel the rain on your skin?  Did you smile at a child, help a stranger, give thanks for yourself?  Would you choose to extract more joy if you knew today were all that you had?  For my entire life, I have been on a treadmill, running mindlessly to the destination–knowing that once I reached that mythical place and point, I would find happiness, peace, joy, contentment…I would achieve bliss.  I negated sunsets, raindrops, lighting storms, all for the future moment in time when I would have arrived, and been more capable of enjoying these priceless aspects of life.  I have no doubt that God invented fireflys and hummingbirds for our wonderment, to enrich our journeys.  On hot, summer nights when we are tired from a long day at work, and we walk outside, exhausted and dejected, only to look up and watch the dance of the firefly as he purely and reverently dances in celebration of his existence in this moment.  We cannot delay joy, scheduling it into our calendars for some unknown date in the future.  Today may really be all that we have.  Today may be the end of our dance.  I lost two very dear people this last year.  One, was my grandfather, a great, loving, funny man.  He was an unforgettable example of living in the moment.  He loved birds, and built birdhouses and hung hummingbird feeders.  He used to watch them through binoculars, and teach me everything he knew about them.  He tended to his garden.  I recall helping him plant corn and roses, and watched him spend hours upon hours in his beloved yard.  He fished.  He rarely brought anything home, but watching him fish was like watching a man meet God…he was in awe, totally present and totally at peace.  I cannot think about him without aching and shedding a tear.  Right before I lost my hero, I lost a dear friend.  Larry.  If you do not know him, no explanation that I have could be adequate to describe his spirit.  Hilarious.  Inappropriate.  Kind.  Unbelievable.  Larry lived every day of his life like it was his last.  Having him as a friend was like being a part of a fraternity.  His spirit was so big that it encapsulated anyone in the vicinity.  You were better and more alive for having known him.  So many times Larry invited me to spend time with his crew, and I put it off for that elusive date and time when I would have arrived, when I would be ready and worthy for joy.  That date never came, and Larry came and went.  Nothing was wrong.  He was here one day and gone the next.  He lived a lifetime in 35 years, and he left those who love him to find happiness for ourselves, but he taught us with his life.  All I can do is carry the essence and examples of these two men in my being, and to give honor to their lives by living the truths that they taught me.  Take time for the simple, yet essential moments of life, and dance in the rain, being authentic to yourself, no matter how inappropriate or outrageous.  Never for a moment stop to care what others think yet live your life honoring and respecting those who share your journey.  Don’t blink for if you do, you will miss a moment that will never come around twice.  Encompass yourself wholly and honestly.  Own who you are and never apologize for who you were meant to be.  Speak your truth.  Live your truth.  Honor your truth.

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