Life is simply, in its purest form, one exquisite moment – this moment, this moment, this moment, this…
A few days ago, I captured one shining moment, right here, in my own backyard!
I happened to go into the bedroom, just as the sun was bringing to autumn life this tree. I saw it! For that, I am grateful. I was enraptured by this tree, this shining, exquisite partner in the creation.
From Thomas Merton: ‘As if the sorrows of this world could overwhelm me now that I realize what we are. I wish everyone could realize this. But there is no way of telling people they are all actually walking around shining like the brightest sun.’
When I think about my life – our lives – our one wonderful, pain-filled, deep and rich life, I sometimes have the glory of knowing that life is one shining moment after another. Mostly, I don’t see the shining moment. I am preoccupied. My inner state takes precedence over what I could witness if I became present. I am busy. I have too much to do, and so little time. I am sad. I have better things to do.
Sometimes, though, I witness one shining moment, and I remember that all is “shining like the brightest sun.” This is a joy. I don’t want it to end. It is rich and deep and – ordinary – all at once. I can only be present to it. That is all I can do: be present.
How difficult! And how simple!
After I took this photo, I ran to the front of the house, to see how “my tree,” that wonderful witness to my later years, was taking in the shining moment of the setting sun. Her west-ward leaning branches were shining, too. I almost left the room to hurry to the back of the house to get my iPad so that I could take a picture. But I didn’t. Because of the witness of that shining tree in the yard, I plopped down on the sofa, instead, and watched, as moment to moment, one leaf after another, shone, and then dipped into twilight.
Sometimes life is so beautiful that I can hardly bear it. I am grateful.