Presence, Barrenness, And The Fullness Of This Moment

In summer there’s nowhere I’d rather be than in my garden, where chocolate cosmos dance in a gentle breeze. Slender stalks holding the flowers clear of the penstemon foliage below. Their dark faces gleaming, catching the oblique rays of the sun.

Exuberant Perfection

Where sumptuous lillies tower above, almost dwarfing the gay, fragrant cosmos. Spires of the deepest pink, exclamations of glory, transform the border into a 3D model of exuberant perfection.

In time, a photograph will tell the story of what was. Will do its best to capture this moment. A snapshot in time. But, was it experienced, seen, felt, given gratitude for in the flesh?

Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

Were the textures, scents, depth and dimensions of this scene imprinted in the mind and heart of the beholder? If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, did the beholder do justice to the beauty it beheld? Be fully present, with open eyes, ears, nose and heart?

Did the beholder rise from their comfy chair in enthusiastic praise to the great unseen gardener behind the scene, and in an act of humble, joyful reverence reach out to touch each plant? Silently communicating “Thank you for being here”. Knowing nothing more needs to be said.

This Hour Will Never Come Again

Yes, I did. For I know that this hour will never come again. This living portrait will be different tomorrow. Some flowers will have died. Others now on their way to maturity may have made it there by morning.

Constant change is the palette in which this piece of living art has its being.

And I’ll be different tomorrow. As millions of cells in my own body will replace themselves before our next encounter.

I may let go of thoughts and feelings that are with me now and embrace new ones. I could be reborn in spirit by the next time I sit here. Unexplored, unexpressed, unknown dimensions of my soul may reveal themselves to me.

Who knows what might happen between now and when we meet again? If we meet again. Life comes with no guarantees.

In this fleeting eternal moment, all life is here. The breathtaking, stupendous fullness of it can only be experienced in presence.

Presence Or Barrenness?

I’m reminded of how a moment without presence is a moment of barrenness. Often filled with distractions to ease the bleakness.

Barrenness is not the same as emptiness.

In barrenness, nothing grows. The arid sterility characterising it has nothing to offer life. Has nothing to sustain or hold life.

How many moments, days, weeks, years, does it take before a life wilts in the barren wasteland of absence?

Emotional, physical, spiritual absence to too many moments add up. The soul-sickness they add up to may never be listed in the DSM. Yet the pain caused may surpass many conditions that are.

Barrenness is not the same as emptiness.

An Invitation To Fullness

The divine paradox is that emptiness is the gilt-edged invitation to fullness. To which the response is an immediate, enthusiastic “Yes!”

When my mind is full of repetitive thoughts, fears, worries, mindless chatter, it keeps me out of presence. Unable to immerse myself in the deliciousness or nourishment of this hour.

In emptiness, something new can drop in and there’s space for it to grow.

An answer, an inspiration, a revelation, a new perspective. Gratitude, awe, wonder.

Wherever you are in this moment, stop right now. Take a look around you. Breathe. Take in everything you see, hear, smell, taste and touch. Become aware of your emotions right now and the thoughts you hold in your mind in this instant.

Let the magnitude of the truth that this hour will never come again permeate every cell in your being.

Even if you’re in a familiar place with familiar people, you and all that you see, hear, smell, taste and touch will be different tomorrow. The only thing permanent is change.

In this moment, let in the grace of emptiness, in which any mind chatter can ease and your body relax.

Be open to allowing the delicious fullness of this moment to flow through every fibre of your being.

All life is here.

Now.

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