Five Minutes, One Moment

I have five minutes.
Not enough time to write, right?
Certainly not enough time to clean the house.

Or just enough, just the right amount.
It turns out that the only thing stopping me is myself,
my list of rules.

It has to be good.
It has to be meaningful.
It has to be beautiful.

But really, here I am.
Raising my hand,
showing up fully, if only for a few minutes.

At 3:30 this morning,
Pearl kicked and screamed and scratched and clawed at me.
I sat like a statue in her bed.

Finally, she succumbed to the pillow.
“Night night me,” she said.
We slept fitfully this way till 6:00.

Sometimes I start looking forward to my coffee
before I’ve even gone to bed at night.
Today, I was tempted to cling to my lack of sleep.
I was tempted to be cranky and resentful.
I was tempted to be tense and terse.

But then, there was this one moment.
(A moment is always one, isn’t it?)
In that moment, my kids were actually playing nicely outside.
In that moment, my husband was standing across from me.
In that moment, I looked at his face.
I touched his shirt.
He put his arm around me.
And nothing was wrong.

The night was over.
The next meltdown had not yet happened.
The next freakout was still moments away.
And for a moment – just one – I understood this whole business
about the present moment being all that exists.
And I practiced.

Posted in: Uncategorized

14 thoughts on “Five Minutes, One Moment

  1. Jennifer/The Word Cellar says:

    I’ve been practicing, too.

    (Oh, and the other night I found myself looking forward to my morning coffee and thought I was a kook. Glad to know I’m in good company.)


  2. Mary P Jones (MPJ) says:

    I wanted to get “let go and let God” tattooed on my body, but now I’m thinking I could stand to remember this as well. My body will read like a book soon. ;)


  3. Beth says:

    It’s that constant stream of self-judgement for me that says, ‘you’re not_______ enough’. Fill in the blank: patient enough, relaxed enough, non-judgemental enough (there’s a good one) that keep me from being present in this eternal moment.

    Thanks for the great practice session that I/we had in reading this, Jena….


  4. Jena Strong says:

    Karen Miller (at Cheerio Road) once wrote to me: “Remember – this is something you do alone, but this is NOT SOMETHING YOU DO ALONE!”

    Thanks to each of you for keeping me company.


  5. meredithwinn says:

    “a moment is always one, isn’t it?”

    it IS! and isn’t is amazing how one little moment can turn us around?! we are remarkable beings.

    thanks for these words and showing us your human-ness.


  6. Jena Strong says:

    Meredith – that human-ness. Yeah. It’s all I have to work with! I get into so much trouble with myself when I start expecting to transcend it somehow.

    Cheryl – Sing it!


  7. Shawn says:

    We’ve been having some early morning freakouts at our house, too, which is why I’m not bloggin as much. I am so tired in the morning or they get up too early, and they are so cranky at night … but those one moments are precious and right now we’re having lots. Lots of one moments. I like these times.

    Coffee is the reason I sleep, and wake back up, I think.



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