It’s Monday and I’m sitting at an outdoor cafe table on a balmy September evening. A woman just walked by and exclaimed, “Can you even see that?!” I’m typing on my laptop outdoors at night by the light coming through the windows of the Starbucks beside me. Smooth Jazz and Big Band songs (I actually love both) alternately flow from the outdoor speakers above. The Big Band notes tempt me to dance around the patio. If Rick were here, I just might make him dance!
People occasionally wander past eating ice cream, drinking coffee, or enjoying an evening stroll. If ever there were a night made for a full moon, this would be it. But the moon is only 65% full tonight. No matter, because visibility is so good I can see the creators on the illuminated half. I’m happily sipping my decaf pumpkin spice latte. It’s my first one of the season. I feel fully content.
I could launch into a spiritual point about the happiness coming from knowing my God, or having a clear conscience before Him. Yes, that is very, very true. But really, what’s doing it for me right now is the opportunity to savor this lovely evening and this delicious cup of coffee. Life is not perfect, but for right now – for the moment at least with my spicy pumpkin latte – life is good. And I don’t want to miss that. I don’t even want to take note of it and then move on. I want to relish it, and be thankful.
Sometimes it’s hard to just be in the present - not thinking about past mistakes, or missed opportunities, and not worrying about tomorrow and what it will bring. I’m not a very past-oriented person. I am strongly future-minded. I’m essentially optimistic, so I don’t worry about the future a lot. But I can spend too much time focusing on my hopes for next month, next year or the next phase of my life. So much so that I can miss the right now. Being fully in the moment and enjoying where I am now is something I want to do more of.
Two guys just sat next to me to eat their frozen desserts from the Cold Stone Creamery across the street. They are discussing their girlfriends. Do you think I should offer them some pointers? I decide to resist. But if you were here, we would surely chat. And I would ask you, what helps you slow down and be in the moment? Is there a certain song? A certain activity? A certain time of the day? Or a certain ritual that does that for you? I’d be really curious to know -- because I want more of these moments in my life.
PS. Hazel, know that I’ve been praying for you.