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A Goal of Being Present

Last year at this time in mid-January, Mary Lou and I were preparing to travel. We had an important anniversary to celebrate, and we hadn’t traveled together since before the pandemic. That was a wonderful time for us and this year we have a creative project that has been brewing for years that we want to complete. Instead of concentrating on the goal of that project, we are going to try the advice of the coach at ASU and focus on being present to the Earth and the joy of each day. On the top of our list is to be present to the sunrise and sunset of each day. One evening in January, we drove to Costco to pick up a prescription in the midst of a brilliant deep pink sunset and on the way back, we saw pale colors streaking through the sky. Did we see the aurora borealis? The whole experience of the sunset and what happened after it filled us with wonder. And, we knew that we could have easily missed it. When one of us takes our dog Louie out for his last hurrah before bedtime, we often notice a moon, stars or the sound of an owl. There is such beauty happening around us in each moment. During my month away, I plan to be more present to that beauty. To support that effort, we are both enrolled in an online course with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach that is full of mindfulness exercises.


Each morning, we will set an intention as we light our makeshift chalice of a candle in a bowl. On adventures outside, we will look for objects to put in the bowl like interesting stones or pieces of wood and leaves. What will we find? Once, years ago, we found a robin’s egg. I plan to return to that chalice during the day when I take breaks from my work. I also want to be open to the strands that connect me with family and friends and be present to them.


Will we finish our project or will something completely new emerge? I look forward to giving you the results of this experiment when we return. Will you join me in a month of intentionally being present? I wonder what stories we will have to tell.


May you be well, and may you know that you are loved.

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