Wild Strawberries

After getting out of bed at 5:30 and making coffee to be consumed immediately afterwards, Pearl, Juke & I headed out for an early morning run today. As I lumbered my way through one mile into a second, here’s what I found myself thinking:

Running today is a gift to my body
in this moment
for this day
and for a lifetime.

Flipping through some women’s magazine at my mother-in-law’s the other night, I glanced at a photo-essay about “real women” loving their “real bodies.” One profile that made an impression on me was of a woman in her 70s who said something to the effect of “you will never look as good as you do now, so you might as well love your body exactly as it is.”

I know for plenty of people, the future may well hold greater physical strength and wellbeing. What struck me as true was more the essence of her statement. We will never again return to this moment. If this is a painful moment for you, mired in struggle or heartache, read this:

I have lost my smile,
but don’t worry.
The dandelion has it.*

No matter what this moment in your life holds – right here and now as you read this, today, this week, this month, whatever your present reality presents itself as – chances are good it sometimes seems to be passing you by in a blur. The essence of how I read that lovely naked woman’s words was this: Don’t miss what you have, what you are, right now. It will never be the same. Glean the sweet bits in each day. Give your body the gift of a conscious breath, in and then out. Look at that thick tangled groundcover more closely and realize that it is rife with strawberries, each no bigger than your pinky nail, each containing all the flavor of strawberry possible.

Breathing in, I calm my body.
Breathing out, I smile.
Dwelling in the present moment,
I know this is a wonderful moment!*

What would be different for you today if you knew things would never be what they are now again?

* from Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh.

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