Recently, I read this wonderful article on the beauty of impermanence (check it out at http://tinybuddha.com/blog/the-beauty-of-nothing-reflections-on-impermanence/). The author reminds us that life is short, so instead of trying to capture every moment on film or on paper or through photographs, we should step back and merely enjoy the moment. We lose part of the moment we are trying to capture for the possibility of recreating it later if we fail to live within that moment and truly embrace it along with the emotions it invokes. I thought this fact was very poignant; so many times I wish I had my camera or my journal with me to freeze a certain moment in time, but looking back, I realize that the lack of those things meant I simply lived within the moment, a memory that I maintain within my mind despite not having physical proof of its existence.
I thought about this point the last couple days. On Saturday night, I sat on the porch with a book in one hand and a drink in the other. There was a chill in the air, and it almost felt as if fall was coming despite it being mid-July. I was wrapped up in my grandmother's wool sweater, and I just sat watching the sunset and the shadows playing on the lawn through the leaves of the trees. I instantly thought that I should grab my journal and write down a poem or fetch the laptop and post about the beauty of the moment, but instead, my thoughts went to the article that I mentioned before and I sat back in my chair. I sipped on my drink and sat watching the traffic for a long stretch of time. I allowed my mind to wander and just stared at my surroundings. I had spent most of the weekend wishing my neighbors were around so I would have people to talk to, but in this moment, I was glad I was alone. I was aware that I must look foolish, wrapped up in my sweater in the middle of July, staring at traffic and passerby from my front porch. I just thought, "Maybe this is how I will be in 60 years- sitting on the porch, watching strangers walk by, musing over my long life, wrapped up in my wool sweater." It was a silly thought yet a calming one as I thought of all I have now and all I have to look forward to. The beauty of living in the moment is a truly spectacular thing.
I thought of this article again this morning as I walked to the post office to mail a card. I watched the cars drive by and wondered what they must think of me- hair still wet and tangled from my shower, sweatpants and a band t-shirt on, walking with my card and my keys, just watching the world around me. I smiled as I walked by an office with a golden labrador retriever passed out on the floor. "How simple the life of that creature must be," I thought as I watched his tongue loll out of his mouth. Animals are such a great example of the necessity of living in the impermanence of the moment. They play, eat, sleep, and live without caring about anything more than whether the neighboring dog will share his ball. As I watched the dog lying on the floor of the office, I smiled and made sure to check if he was still there when I passed by on my return trip (he was). I began to count my blessings as I crossed the road to my apartment. I relished the drops of water falling through the tree branches as I passed underneath, remnants of this morning's storm. I waved to my neighbor as I passed him on the street. Back in the apartment, I was thankful that I had a place to call home that I could return to, and a source through which I can relay my thoughts to those who will read this. So I urge you today to make sure you live, laugh, love... in the moment.