that the present moment
is all you will ever have."
-- Eckhart Tolle
Time is such an interesting idea. Eckhart Tolle adds: "Time isn't precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time--past and future--the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is."
It's interesting how he defines time as past and future, and if I think about that statement in that way, it makes perfect sense. But, what is even more fascinating is that we are always living in the now because that is all there is. We may be having thoughts from the past, or thoughts of something or someone from the past, that which has already been but is not this moment, and in reality, these thoughts are happening right now. We cannot go into the past. We can only access memories. And, memories then become the now. Except as we think of the memories, we may be missing what is happening this moment.
I was driving to meet a friend in Vacaville from Fairfield CA, and I was thinking that just this month been three years since my wife, Nancy, passed. I thought, "wow, three years. . . . It doesn't feel like three years. It feels like 3 nanoseconds ago. Heck, it seems like it was only 5 nanoseconds ago that we were making love on the beach around midnight at the Turtle Bay Hilton in Hawaii where we had only met two nights ago. I was 37 and she was 34 at the time." That memory is just as clear as it could be, and in April of 2017, it will have been 30 years since we met.
I can remember certain scenes from childhood that are as vivid as if it were this morning. Then buying my first car, getting my first real job, driving dump trucks, working on cars and trucks in the Air Force, getting into a career in the auto business, becoming a sales manager, buying our first home, and a few thousand other wonderful memories. They too were just a few nanoseconds ago.
Then in juxtaposition of that, or maybe completely and delightfully in harmony with that, depending on your point of view, I was sitting outside in the carport yesterday holding Charlie and watching the birds in the courtyard right outside my office. My thought was, this, right here, right now, is sheer perfection. There is peace, love, harmony, atmospheric delight (lovely weather), and here was the most important thought, and it is one that really got my attention. I said silently to myself, "there is absolutely nowhere else I would rather be than right here, right now."
I think the reason that thought made such an impact on me is that for so much of my life, I was always wanting to be somewhere I wasn't. Or, at least it seemed that way. Sure there were tons of moments where I was fully enjoying that moment, but in my mind, I might have rather lived in Hawaii, or live in the country, or travel to this place or that, or have a lot more money, or have made better choices, or fill in the blank. But, yesterday, I was completely and totally focused on the moment and realizing--mildly astonished, actually--that there was not one place on planet Earth I would rather be than right there, just then.
Maybe you've had thoughts like that, but I was sort of blown away by it. I even tried to think of a place, a city or location, or type of home, or anywhere else that I might rather be. My answer was no. I was completely and totally at peace and in love with the moment by moment by moment by moment. I was in perfect harmony and joy--and awake within it.
"Time Is An Illusion" -- Albert Einstein
Spread Some Joy Today--by allowing yourself to be where you are in joy. Wherever that may be.