"To finish the moment, to find the journey's end in every step of the road, to live the greatest number of good hours is wisdom." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
We traverse through this life we are living. It is a journey for each of us. A unique and very personal journey, one that touches upon the paths our lives travel. No two paths are the same, each of us living a personal experience with our life.
A personal experience with YOUR life. Are you being with that experience?
This Trail of Life
Our world is filled with much natural beauty. Part of that connection to soul, for me, is in the experiencing of this beauty. One could say that if we look deeply enough, there is beauty all around. I step outside and experience the grass between my toes. I watch as a leaf gently falls from a mighty oak. The wind blows against my face. The sun warms my skin…my soul…
A recent experience with nature was a moving experience. And the thing is – had I known what lie ahead of me, I would have chose a different path.
The scene: Acadia National Park, Maine. July 2010.
Daybreak ushered in a beautiful day (perhaps they all are, in there very own special way). This particular day brought sunshine, some light puffy clouds, and a coolness amongst the rising warmth of the sun. A beautiful day for choosing a trail into the expansive wilderness of our natural world.
…and a trail on this journey through life…
The Beehive Trail. Marked as a strenuous hike. How "strenuous" could this really be, though?
It all began easily enough…a rocky path into the woods.
Then we took a turn. A turn toward something much different than just a "hike in the woods"…hiking straight up the side of a rock cliff. In fact, that cliff ended up being a granite peak reaching 500 feet up. A path maybe two feet wide, snaking up the side of a vertical rock face. Use of hands became as important as feet, as the trail narrowed and involved grasping rocks to continue the climb up. Five hundred feet on a flat surface seems so short. Five hundred feet, straight up…something altogether different.
Perhaps my hiking experience is limited. Perhaps there are more challenging hikes out there in this world.
Perhaps this truly was a challenging hike.
What I do know: That experience, the hiking of this trail, was being in the moment like nothing I've experienced in some time. I clung to each step I was taking. I noticed the sweat dripping from my forehead. I felt the formation of the rocks. I focused on "the moment".
And in that – a lesson. I can say I'm "in the moment" at any time during my days. Am I, though? Am I really in that moment.
Or am I wavering in and out of that moment (like this very moment right now).
You see…our life is made up of moments. Millions of moments. Strung together, they become the journey that is our life.
Our ONE LIFE (that I am aware of).
So, think about this. You are in your ONE LIFE, your one very precious life. Now.
"For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin – real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way. Something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life." ~ Fr. Alfred D'Souza
A life that is made up of moments. Some are big and grand moments. Some are more ordinary moments. Ordinary…except they are not. They are not ordinary because they are completely YOURS.
How are you choosing to "be" within the moments that make up your life? In ALL of the moments…
As I reflect now upon the moments that were my time on that Beehive Trail, I fully know that I am not always there…in that place of full connection with the moment. The time invested in traversing this trail was a life lesson in what full connection is all about. That's not always a simple place to "be", in the ordinary moments that make up our days. Perhaps in those moments that offer something extraordinary, this is easier.
What about all those other moments that make up our day, our week, our life?
"Try not. Do or do not, there is no try." ~ Yoda
Do this…in your life. Really experience the moment. Each moment…even just for a few minutes.
Getting out of bed. Pouring that first cup of coffee. Answering the phone. Stopped in traffic. Making dinner. Paying your electric bill. Playing with your kids. Taking a walk with a friend.
A hike up the side of a steep cliff. Water skiing for the first time. The loss of a loved one. Hearing the words "You've got cancer". Achieving a life-long dream.
These moments are YOUR LIFE. Let these moments become you. Experience them, as they happen. Moments that are the highest of highs. Moments that are the lowest of lows. And everything in between.
“Carpe diem! Rejoice while you are alive; enjoy the day; live life to the fullest; make the most of what you have. It is later than you think.” ~ Horace