"Life can be found only in the present moment. The past is gone, the future is not yet here, and if we do not go back to ourselves in the present moment, we cannot be in touch with life."
~ Thich Nhat Hanh ~
Vietnamese Buddhist Monk
~ Thich Nhat Hanh ~
Vietnamese Buddhist Monk
It was just past midnight last night. I was out on the patio as two of the dogs, Big Moe, my lab-doby mix, and Sampson, my Velcro pug, snuffled about in the grass to find just the perfect spot to do their business. This is very important. Dogs are very mindful, and they were single-minded in their pursuit. It was just then that I saw a glint of bright green against the white stucco wall of the patio. I stood, barely breathing, and stared at him. I thought he was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. In each moment there is something perfect, beautiful, unimaginably tender and touching, if we are aware, and present. For a single moment I was one with him, his bright eyes locked with mine. It was perfect bliss...
I held my breath as I slipped in the door to grab my camera, and took several pictures of him. He stood quite still as if posing for me. The camera flashed and he will be with me for all eternity in this photograph, even though moments later he jumped through the air so fast that I blinked and he was gone. I saw one flash of a tiny green leg disappear through a crack where the patio wall meets the cottage wall. Morning glories slip through this crack, and beetles, lady bugs, spiders, and the little green lizards we have in abundance here. I live in harmony with each and every one of them. These are the simple things in life that I treasure, the ephemeral things that disappear in a moment. Present Moment, Wonderful Moment -- that is the title of one of Thich Nhat Hanh's books. His books are slender little volumes, his words are a whisper in the air. You hear him in your ears as you read. I have several video and audio cd's of him speaking and his voice is mesmerizingly soft and gentle. I hear his voice when I read the words in his books.
I came in with the dogs, the tiny frog gone wherever bright green nocturnal creatures slip off into in the night, and I sat here with only one small reading lamp on, but I didn't read, I didn't turn on the computer or the t.v., no, I sat here to meditate on that miraculous moment, when one tiny little tree frog and I met, a moment that I will forget, sadly, but that one single moment will remain part of me forever.
Present Moment, Wonderful Moment. I bow to Thich Nhat Hanh, in Plum Village in France where he lives, I bow to the wee little frog who disappeared into the night, I smile at the sleeping pug attached to me who is settled deep in sleep and snoring softly. I listen to the air, the soft whoosh of the Hepa air filter moving particles that sparkle in the dark. If only I were a frog I could see them. I listen to my breath go in and out, in and out. I slip into a meditative state and behind my eyelids there is a sea of bright green. I float in it, and only when I open my eyes again do I realize that it was a frog meditation, and for one single moment I was as green as my tiny visitor.
As I was writing the above I looked down and smiled. I am wearing a soft lime green cotton caftan, the color faded with age, and on my wrist are three beaded bracelets, all green stones -- prehnite, green turquoise, aventurine, and peridot -- all powerful, healing, comforting stones for me now. It is a green time for me in my life. Green is the heart chakra color. It is a heart time for me now, as my mother, who just went on hospice faces, in peace, her final days. She talked softly today about the end, which is near, and I have never felt her more at ease. She is prepared for her passing. I wear these green stones so that my heart may be healed as she makes her final passage.
In the last moment I spoke to her I said the prayer for her that she loves. I say it to her now every time we speak, and she loves to hear it. I first heard it in Unity Church in Roanoke, Virginia, more than two decades ago.
"The light of God surrounds you,"
I tell her, almost in a whisper...
"The love of God enfolds you,"
I can feel her relax into the moment
as a tear runs down my cheek...
"The power of God protects you,"
We are one spirit in this moment,
mother and daughter, for what may
be, at any time, the last moment...
"The presence of God watches over you,"
We both face toward the golden light
of God's presence, and the light that
will draw her home in the days ahead...
"Wherever you are, God is, and all is well."
I feel her tender smile, I am in awe of
the total peace she radiates in these,
her final days. When we get off of the
phone, I say the prayer for myself,
that I may feel the peace that passeth
understanding when my mother crosses
over into the light.
I will sit here for awhile before I go to sleep and I will close my eyes and breathe in the gift of green that the little frog brought to me, I will feel the soft green cotton against my skin, and the sparkling green beads and stones around my wrist. As I closes my eyes I feel my belly rise and fall as I become all breath, rocking gently, like a baby in her mother's arms, and pray as I get ready to turn off the light and go to sleep...
The light of God surrounds me...
Present Moment, Wonderful Moment...
My heart beats in my chest, my breath slowly moves in and out, and for one singular moment I feel the peace that passeth understanding, and all is well...