I was alone. The day was gray. Christmas had just passed along with yet another “Happy” New Year. This year had been a sad passing.
I walked to the window of our terrace and looked out at the dark sky. All was silent…at first.
Then I noticed a rivulet of a raindrop flowing down the pane before me. Then another and another. I noticed them. I was being pulled into noticing, pulled into the moment by them.
In the past I had willfully chosen to be present, to make a conscious effort to stop thinking, to allow the unfolding of the moment. But these days I notice that I’m often summoned to presence by the sense of either sight or sound.
Then I heard the patter of rain on the window and the sill. And I stopped thinking. I just stood there and watched and listened.
I notice as I age my senses are more important to me. I used to take them so much for granted, like “Wow, that barbecue steak smells nice.” or, “That sunset is gorgeous.” I think I’m more keenly attuned to life, its sights, its sounds, it scents, even those most subtle.
We didn’t have a Christmas tree in our condo but as I walked Bailey after Christmas I saw, as evidenced at the curb, that many of my neighbors did. Bailey loves to stop and sniff at the base of the discarded pines to detect some strange left there by a neighbor’s dog.
And I noticed that after I passed a tree or two downwind I could detect the piercing aroma of fresh pine, the scent that filled my boyhood days with joy.
Once, with Bailey a couple of days ago, I even stopped to sniff the top of a discarded yet fresh pine while Bailey was sniffing the nether portions.
In our workaday worlds of providing for our families we can’t always appreciate the moments I describe. We are too caught up in our anxieties of survival, or anticipations of the future. But they need to be felt, to be lived.
A few nights ago I reached across to sleeping Cheryl and gently put my hand on the curve of her waist. I could feel her warmth, the slight rise and fall of her breathing.
But then I let my hand, my arm, carry her essence to my heart. I had done this before and have even written about it in a blog. The same power is still there, the same miraculous connection. And I am grateful for her and the connection her presence still carries to me.
I asked Cheryl the next day, “Did you feel me touching you last night?” She said she had not. I described what I did, what I felt. She smiled. I told her it was very similar to what was demonstrated in that movie, “Powder” in which a young man could feel a deer’s life under his palm. I think it’s all about being absolutely present in a moment.
I wandered aloud if everyone could do that. But then I said, “I guess you have to feel a powerful love toward the person next you, if you didn’t, I don’t think it would be the same.”
Men don’t talk about feeling like this. Not very manly many would think. I think a lot of men do feel what I feel but don’t articulate it, maybe for fear of appearing overly sensitive. And many of us don’t want to appear as that. And I think that’s okay.
But…at my age…I just don’t give a crap.
See my sister blog:https://wherethesundontshine.net
See Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now and A New Earth for more about presence.