15 December 2015
Your heart is like a flower. ~Thich Nhat Hahn
I woke up recently to a sky dappled with silvery, puffy clouds and sunbeams glinting in the dewdrops dangling from the tree leaves like a zillion tiny white christmas lights. In the last couple weeks, I’ve mentioned songs that’ve drifted through my head. That morning it was Andy Williams singing the holiday classic ‘It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year’.
The beauty of the day was not the only thing that precipitated this.
Thich Nhat Hanh’s ‘You Are Here’ has been on my nightstand lately. In this slender book, he writes a paragraph that prompts the reader to think about the most wonderful moment of their life.
Wow. The question took my breath away. Why have I never thought to consider this? To think about the most wonderful moment of my life. What a gift!
I proceeded to eagerly tear into the wrapping of that gift. I began searching through memories, sifting out particularly good ones and brightening over them. At breakfast, my husband and I explored together. With a nostalgic smile, he told a story about a young him mastering a trick on his bicycle that I’d never heard before. We relived lovely shared moments.
In ‘You Are Here‘, Thict Nhat Hanh offers a few prompts. When will the most wonderful moment happen? What will it be like? Has it happened already or yet to come? He says that often, no matter how old we are, we do not think it has happened yet. That we hope it is still to come.
After posing this inquiry, Hanh then suggests that each present moment contains the opportunity to be our favorite moment. This was the heart of his message — that we can create magnificent present moments by sincerely engaging our attention, our awareness. The gift, the present is our presence.
A little later, as I dealt with AT & T, his advice seemed way beyond my grasp. Except maybe not. This was exactly the kind of weary, dreary chore he was inviting me to imbue with something more.
I recognize that my attitude and my connection to myself are essential ingredients in how I experience any given moment. His words, reminding me that any moment contains the possibility of wonder-full-ness, inspire me to pay attention to how I can engage in a way that supports and helps create what I value.
This is not a head-in-the-sand, Pollyanna stance. Yes, we are surrounded by hurts that stream at us from the media, that arrive in worrisome news from a friend. These moments too have a precious quality to them. There is a need for compassion. Sharing moves to a deeper level. These are opportunities to focus on the love we have and want to share.
When I’m present, I’m noticing what a wonderful time of year it is. There’s beauty in the dewdrops. There’s delight in the familiar traditions like eggnog and cookies and the lights at the top of the local brewery that flash ‘Happy Holidays’ alternately with ‘Hoppy Holidays’. There’s the sweet gifts of a good conversation over a cup of something warm with a friend and a cozy night at home by the fire. There is the present of being present for sharing beauty, caring, joy.
I hope there are most wonderful moments, past and present, sweetening your life today.
Here‘s Andy Williams’ ‘It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year’.