Julie's Faith Walk
Living in the Moment - even while gardening
It’s that time of year, even if it hasn’t been that temperature yet, to till the garden and plant this year’s crops. As usual, I’m out in my plot of land with my hoe as soon as the snow is gone. Lots of weeds have supplanted the empty spaces where tomatoes and flowers should go. So one morning, I’m out in my garden. A ray of sunshine is beaming through the clouds. Away I go, axing away at the clumps of weeds. As I am working, I decide to recall my lesson for that day, in working through a book on being present, so I say, “I consciously choose to experience this moment.” I said it again and then again. And as the awareness dawned on me, I became conscious that I was weeding, but my mind was far ahead into what was going to be planted there. I was seeing the tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, and beets. I was imagining planting them and I was taking my mind even further into the future to see them grow, flower and produce fruit.
Where my mind was, I realized, was anywhere but the present. As I brought my mind around to truly ‘experiencing this moment,’ I found that I was weeding beautiful and healthy green living things. I had never noticed how healthy and divine these plants I was taking out of my garden were. I suddenly stopped and touched them; they were so turgid and strong, much stronger than the weakling tomato plants I had to put in their place. I suddenly also became aware of all the species of morning birds singing and chirping, of squirrels and chipmunks cheeping their awakening, of the flowers all around me that had just burst open with life and color. I felt like I had gone from black and white to Panavision in one moment. Life seemed bursting with excitement and joy, and my attention to it was all that was needed. It had been there all along, but as long as my mind was in another time or space, I could not experience it.
I began to wonder how much of life I had missed by being either in the past or the future, while missing the gifts the Universe has to offer us right now. So many of them are fleeting too, if you aren’t present, you miss them. Like a wedding - if you’re late, that isn’t ever going to happen again. Or a child’s first step or first word. Or the blooming of the mariposa lilies or the trillium in the mountains. They only last a little while and if you don’t stop to look while they are in full regalia, you’ll never know they were there. The life span of butterflies or the random ribbit of a tree frog; these are gifts from our Creator that are spontaneous and filled with joy; you just need be present to win!