Saturday evening in the gallery. May I muse on a bit with you? And here's a soundtrack to accompany this blog (click to YouTube)
It's been an interesting string of weather... not quite summer yet (and the calendar gives us another week anyway), but the trees are thick and lush, certainly not early Spring either. "We're getting there" seems to be a common phrase. Which begs the question of where is "there?"
Obviously in the case of weather discussion it is summer. Idyllic time of flip flops, longer days, open windowed sleeping at night, and here on Cape Cod, boating, swimming, and all varieties of beach time.
I muse on the "getting there" question. I've been a church musician for the past ten years, and about once a month after church, there is a retired organist who says to me, about my organ playing, "you're getting there" which I think is her way of offering a compliment, though I always find myself walking away, shaking my head, and wondering where the "there" is to which she refers. And how will I know when I have arrived?
We do that with so many things in life, don't we? We seek the perfect relationship, the perfect home, the perfectly organized sock drawer (ok, just making sure you're paying attention!). But what if "there" is an elusive goal to which we can never quite arrive? And the real "there" is more honestly "here?" What if in our quest for perfection, we miss the beauty and joy in the here and now?
I learned that lesson when I watched my mother decline for several years in a nursing home. We hoped she would improve, focused on finding ways to help her in the process, and yet she continued to decline. And with our emphasis on improvement, we missed the quality that she maintained at the time. And it continued to disappear. And we continued to miss it, until the very end, when we finally accepted that it was as good as it was going to be. And then she was gone.
How many perfectly exquisite "here" moments do we miss in our question for "getting there?" I far prefer, at the ripe age of 54, to focus on what is in front of me, right now. To allow myself to be spontaneous, rather than plan every moment of my days. Sure, I still have goals. It is important to continue to grow. Yet not, in my humble opinion, at the expense of losing the joy in where I am right now. What relationships do I have that I value? To whom might I show a little extra love and concern, whether they ask for it or not? What word of joy might I offer, or maybe even a simple smile, that could brighten someone's day?
A couple of weeks ago, in the gallery one afternoon, I looked out and saw a woman I know getting into her car. Not someone with whom I was close. I wasn't even sure that she would remember my name. I hadn't seen her in several months. So I didn't take the time to go out to say hi. Then less than a week later I heard the news of her involvement in a life-threatening car accident. And I kicked myself for not having taken the time to share a friendly word or two with her, when I could, because I could.
So what's your point, Mimi? My point is that maybe in our desire to get there, we miss here. Right now. This moment. The light outside my window. The gentle music on the stereo. The beauty around me. The kind words offered to me earlier in the day by a virtual stranger who passed through the gallery.
Stop, please, for just a moment. Take a deep breath. Maybe another two or three. And look around you. Feel the grass underfoot. Pet the dog. Snuggle with a loved one. Be. Right here.
Are we there yet? Oh yes. Right now. In every moment.
Peace and blessings to all.