It occurred to me half way through the day yesterday that it was my wedding anniversary. 24 years ago I gave the bonds of matrimony a good try. For reasons too numerous to mention, the marriage didn’t work out–though not for lack of trying on my part– and my husband and I parted ways and I have not looked back.
It’s hard for me to fathom that this was nearly a quarter century ago. I like to think and hope that I’m a better person for the decisions I made as well as those I didn’t make, and the experiences I’ve had, but one never really knows for certain if these seemingly improperly timed decisions mold one for the better or not. I know that I am whole and happy today, and that’s all that really matters. Though at the time I felt I lost a large chunk of my life to the marriage endeavor, I realize now that in fact the opposite occurred–events conspiring in that odd way they sometimes do in order to bring me right to where I am today. I am reluctant to romanticize and say this was pre ordained, being wholly submerged in chaos and randomness as I am, but sometimes I let my mind go there, just for the nostalgia of it. Sometimes what we want and need wasted time to be are two completely different things. I know I over think things at times to help it all make sense, a very human characteristic. It is difficult for humans to leave things on their own, to not make sense or order of them on some level.
A friend mentioned to me just the other day that ingratitude might be the single most toxic condition plaguing the modern world today, and that idea resonated with me. Though my human condition causes me to complain and focus on the negative at times, I realize how lucky I am to have the life I do and can credit myself and my decisions for much of it. So many people these days seem to require daily dramas to feel vital and alive, but I’ll opt for the peaceful and boring any day. The process of just being for nothing other than that is a hard thing for humans to do. Times like these I’m glad I have my dogs to remind me to be present in the only moment that matters, the one at hand. You need to have your dogs around you constantly to do this, it seems being human and being in the moment are conflicting strategies that don’t take hold easily or effortlessly despite the constant grooming of them.
July 1st is also the 1/2 way point in the year when summer is well underway and Winter looms large in the foreground. It takes every fiber of my being to stay present and not worry about cold, short days, brimming with snow and ice. The only thing worse than winter is worrying about it in summer while the warmest of breezes caress naked skin lovingly in that way that a grandmother might sooth hurt feelings, just by being there. Not one word needing to be articulated to lend credibility or comfort to the moment at hand.
Right now, every minute I have in The Bowl is dedicated to being outside in the sun, as if I might build up a summer savings account to see me through winter. My mountain is swaddled in summertime green– a phenomenon made possible by the closer proximity of the sun to it as it gently coaxes green leaves and ferns to coalesce into a solid, undulating mat of verdant life. From my deck, it appears as though some celestial chef lovingly concocted and ladled life onto the mountain with an even, unwavering hand. Cool stuff no matter how you look at it.
I stare at my mountain as much as I can these days, as though by sheer will I might be able to thwart winter’s progress and keep summer here as long as possible, perhaps forever. While I know in my head it wont matter what I do to keep summer here, in my heart it matters a great deal, and it’s these matters of the heart that keep me grounded in my present reality, even when that reality seems to be very far away.
So stop for a few minutes each and every day, close your eyes and give gratitude to whoever or whatever you want or need to- for the things you have as well as for those things you don’t have. Though it may be hard to reconcile, whether by chance or design, you are right where you need to be with only those things you need to have in order to be alive and content in this very moment. Gratitude is free and accessible at any time of the day or night. Immerse yourself in it, let it surround you with its warmth and comfort. It’s one of the best, most simple things there is.