Friday, March 19, 2010

Gifts (Part I)

I was driving home from my daughter's daycare today with the windows down and the cool air blowing from our vents, marveling at the glory of sunshine and birdsong and peeking green everywhere.

Such gifts! Sunshine and driving and daughter singing songs and neighborhood I love and warmth on my arms and breezy heads of hair and the intoxicating scent of spring all around. Powerful stuff.

I had been in a conversation earlier with another mother and one of the room teachers about houses and possessions and the habit of wanting more. It was nice to realize I don't want more house, more space, or more things. I don't covet bigger/better... I have noticed I don't take care of stuff so well and it makes more sense given my focus, priorities, inclinations, and level of patience to keep things on the smaller side. Less is more.

This is not to say I don't covet other things... I certainly do. I am future-focused and slow to let go and crave control in areas of my life best left easily adrift. My wanting has become less materially-aimed... but it is still there: The aching of emptiness blind to abundance.

Which was the lesson staring me in the face today, patiently waiting to be acknowledged as I reveled in the happy of spring and consciously made an effort not to allow my buzzing gratitude to be undone by thoughts of coming snow.

I am surrounded by abundance. At times miraculous, sometimes unexpected and unbidden, maybe even so simple as to be nearly unnoticed without mindful awareness... the process of living provides infinite opportunities to practice gratitude and choose joy.

This remains a difficult lesson to remember and embrace in times of depression, fear, anxiety, loneliness, crisis, etc. But today I realized it's all a matter of perspective in terms of how I weave the narrative of my experience, how I make meaning of the things I cannot control, of how I reconcile the things I do control... how I own my mistakes, accept misfortunes, and keep letting go so that I am less and less burdened in each moment.

Doing this with books, photos, papers, movies, clothing, furniture, etc., etc. etc. has been a trying yet rewarding process. Doing so with the less tangible aspects of my life is an ongoing experiment... to which I must continually recommit and doggedly reengage.

Here's my suspicion: The more tangibly and intangibly unencumbered I can become, the more aware I will become of the multitudinous gifts available to me in every moment - ready and waiting to be noticed.

Such a path of gratitude and awareness of plenty seems a more joyful type of existence. More loving. More awake. More conscious and intentional.

It is an aspiration upon which I gratefully cast my gaze.

May you notice the simplest of gifts today. May you find joy and fullness in your living.

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