So often we see what’s right in front of us — the dirty dishes stacked in the sink; the laundry piled on the floor; the unopened emails in our inbox; the baby’s hair, sleep tousled; the glaze of frost glistening on the maple leaves — but are we really awake to it all?
Seeing is passive. We see what passes in front of our eyes, but we are not aware. We look, but we are not awake. Life unfurls, and we miss most of it.
A few nights ago at bedtime, Rowan lamented that his life was going by too fast (this, from an eleven-year-old). “I want to slow it down,” he said.
Rowan, like me, is prone to living ahead of himself. He’s either worrying about what’s coming down the line — usually the next math test — or eagerly anticipating the next fun thing – the vacation, the birthday party, the movie night.
“The key to slowing it down is to live in the present moment,” I told him that night, speaking to him but preaching to myself. “Not regretting what happened yesterday, not anticipating what’s coming tomorrow, but being aware of where you are right now.”
There is beauty all around us – in the tousled bed head and the glistening frost, but also, if you are awake to it, in the dirty dishes and the laundry.
Let’s not only look at it and see it, but awaken to the holiness of everyday, ordinary life.