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In the MomentSeptember 22, 2013
One of the gifts of my brother John's last months was the surprising new capacity he developed for living in and savouring the moment. It was astonishing to see this shift in mindfulness for a person who had been, like me, very task focused all his life, and even more rushed about it, continually dealing with deadlines for multi-million dollar projects for Disney. Later, he treated target dates for virtues products he was designing with equal commitment, although they carried far less financial responsibility!
In the last few weeks, I prayerfully set an intention to focus on the moment, to give up ruminating for mindfulness of the gifts each day held. It feels as if I have been on a long, steep, winding climb and have made it to the top, my soul now at rest, breathing in pure, refreshing air, able to focus on the vista all around me. Today with a friend, I attended the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I was touched by the welcoming friendliness, the many kisses, and the fact that they named about thirty virtues during their service, the theme for which was stewardship – for the earth and for each other. With tears in her eyes, a widow thanked the congregation for all the services they have given her, from mending her dining room table "like new" to sharing food and mowing her grass. I met a gorgeous old bloke with a shock of white hair (I later learned he is a mere 6 years older than I am.) He insisted on taking me and my friend to his plantation afterwards, and without fuss, shrugging off thanks, foisted on us a cornucopia of flowers and fruits – gardenias, passion fruit, guava, papaya (paw paw) and the yellow fruit of the cashew tree, which I had never tasted before. He refused to take any money for it. I had a fruit feast for dinner mixed with some dried coconut.
Yesterday I floated in the lagoon with a local friend and when the rain started, drove her up the hill to her farm, where she was airing her pereus (colorful cloths she dyes) and helped her bring them in. We shared some nu (coconut juice) and our news with one another. She and a group of other island women are off to California and Vegas soon, and I gave her some ideas about what to see and where to eat. She is staying in the Luxor, the pyramid shaped hotel on the strip, where we stayed in March just before returning to Aitutaki.
So I have climbed out of the pit of worry, which took me out of my body and out of my mind too. I am now living in the present moment, open to kisses of welcome, feeling joy bubbling up once again, like a forgotten spring. My prayers for help to live in this present moment have quite literally gleaned a bountiful harvest.