Finding time wasn’t easy yesterday. Do you have days like that? It was both busy and one of the most beautiful October days that one could hope for … blue sky, bright sun, clear air, and yellow leaves making the woods vibrant with color and energy. I hadn’t gotten outside on Sunday, so was determined to find a moment at some point in the day, just to be still for a few minutes and appreciate.
I did find time yesterday afternoon and took in the sun and October air for a few brief, enriching minutes. Opening to the moment, I heard the breeze blowing tenderly through the dry leaves. As it touched my cheek, I listened to the Blue Jays’ cacophony in the woods and the sound of a far off car driving by. The sun was wonderfully warm, even as it had begun its westward decline. A leaf fell from a nearby oak.
I felt at once utterly alone and deeply connected as I let the moment flow into and through me. Joyfulness filled my heart! And right on the heels of that joy was the knowledge that I needed to return to my work.
Having created a boundary so that I could open to the moment, I also needed to create a boundary to enable me to let go and continue with my daily responsibilities.
That is such a fundamental and mysterious part of the rhythm of living, isn’t it? We enrich ourselves when we open to the depth, complexity, and aliveness of the moment – and then our self-discipline calls us back to our tasks, goals, and responsibilities. It can be challenging, that opening to depth and then letting it go – yet it is what most powerfully refreshes, nourishes and enlivens us.
Thinking about this I am reminded of some lines from Mary Oliver that I love. They are from her poem “In Blackwater Woods” and speak to me about this core mystery of living in time – how we are called to embrace and to let go, over and over:
To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.
Do you find time for this mystery in your life? Is it challenging to open to the moment? To let it go? I’d love to hear what you’ve experienced!
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© Copyright 2009 Paula Eder, Ph.D.