Living in the moment
There is nothing short of magic in the happenings of spring. Through the woods and on the tree-lined streets of our towns, buds unfold into fairy-like green leaves. It seemed to happen over-night, but we know that, even in the snowy days of this past winter, the makings of such spring flourish were laying their course. And, now, these perfect leaves that carry the patterns of their species unfold to become the homes of insects, the targets of wind and rain and our own shelter from the summer sun.
These past days, the air has been carrier of the songs of birds, all kinds of birds tweeting and chirping in a symphony for spring. There is no concert master, and I know that they warble or sing or whistle according to their intent, but they give forth the sound of unison and harmony. Ah, spring is such a glorious playing out of wonderful things to come.
One day last week, butterflies appeared in the warm sun. Both the sun and the butterflies had been absent for far too long. On such a day, everything seems good and laced with unlimited possibilities for a world filled with peace and love.
But things change fast on a soft spring day. We all watched the countless storms blow through the Ohio River Valley these past weeks. From my front porch at our farm, I have watched the weather change its clothes through all the seasons. Bright blue skies, gray sleety winds, black menacing clouds and driving rains, they all parade past my porch from west to east. You know the Hoosier joke, ‘If you don’t like the weather, just wait a few minutes and it will change.’ Oh, so true this was in our recent days of rain dancing in and out of seconds of hopeful sunny moments.
It is easy to understand that the heavy rains of spring are necessary for a good harvest in the autumn and a high underground water table throughout the year. It is this constant source of moisture that nurtures our rolling hills and growing towns. But, honestly, the flood threats of this past month were a bit too much for any peace of mind, and raw emotions kicked in and said, ‘Enough.’
All of life is a changing pattern of pleasant experiences and challenging conditions. Where there were white billowy clouds minutes ago, I now hear thunder and feel the wind picking up from the silent air of the past minutes. I am reminded of a quote from my school days. I don’t know who said it, but it went like this: Nothing is neither good nor bad, but thinking makes it so. Yes, even in the rising flood waters, ‘good was present.’ I saw it in the genuine camaraderie of friends clearing household items out of the lower levels of homes along the Blue River. No one showed up to help with hopes of getting rich or staying dry in the midnight hours before Easter. Friends and neighbors carried furniture and boxes to high ground because that is what human beings do for others when the rivers rise. If that doesn’t illuminate the human spirit, I don’t know what does. There was some lamenting, an occasional laugh and a lot of hugging. There were more than enough offers to help and many spontaneous tears of gratitude. Good ‘shout it out times’ all woven together with silent sadness and out-and-out disgust at the turn of events. Spring brings these lessons of life in very visible happenings, so transferable as lessons applicable to all of life.
In the time it has taken me to write this column, the weather show has run across my view from sun to rain and back again to welcome sun and then to posted tornado watches.
They say we should learn to live in the moment, never lamenting the past or always wishing for a different day tomorrow. Every moment has its glory no matter the weather that plays upon us. If I can only slow down enough to open my ears to the unique sounds of where I am and what I am doing. It is always difficult to be prepared for what changes bring, but plan we must and then come with a grateful and expectant heart to whatever the day brings.
Let’s live in the present moment while at the same time remain flexible in the changes of the coming hours.