The Beauty of Today's Page
Updated: Jan 31
I keep having a memory of when I was visiting my grandmother's house in elementary school with my cousin. My Grandmother carefully set out ceramics for both of us to paint and we were excited about the project. She arranged a selection of different glazes, paintbrushes, and tools to use on the ceramics. In hindsight, I think she figured this would keep us busy at least for the morning. My cousin took her time and immersed herself in the project; carefully painting each section of her ceramic animal. I, however, did the opposite for I was so anxious to see the final results. I rushed through my choices and barely let a coat of paint dry before I added different glaze to my animal. I completed the project in less than 30 minutes. The problem was that when I finished, I didn't feel satisfied because I hadn't actually enjoyed the process of painting. As I watched my cousin continue to paint with patient attention to detail, I wished I had slowed down and been more thoughtful in my selections. Yet once it was done, I didn't have anything else to paint. I was left sitting at the table and wishing I had made a different decision.
I find that this applies to life as well. Sometimes I am so focused on the next chapter of my life that I forget to slow down and enjoy the moments of today. It was one of the many things that I learned through grief. A seemingly normal hug from my husband at the bank took on new meaning the following day when he was gone. I wish I could tell you that I paid more attention to that hug, but I was distracted. What seemed like important things weighed on my mind. Death is a teacher of many things. It shows with such clarity what is really important in life.
These days I still find myself sometimes rushing through the chapters of my life like I did with those ceramics. Not because I dislike life but often the opposite. It's like a good book that I can't wait to get to the next chapter. I want to see how the story finally ends. Yet I've been reminded this week to savor the current page. To stop rushing to get to the next chapter for it will arrive in perfect timing. Sometimes I worry that I might rush through and get to the end of my life only to realize that I wasn't really present for any of it.
The truth is that my kids will never be the age they are today. In 10 years I will never get the opportunity to watch my son play middle school basketball. Or laugh when he sings in a falsetto to be comical. I won't get the opportunity to have my 11 year old daughter crawl into bed and feel that peace that comes from knowing she is safely tucked in next to me. These are the things that I want to savor.
The magic of life unfolds in the present moment. It is the moment of NOW. I heard recently there are two days out of the year that are completely out of our control- yesterday and tomorrow. There is a simplicity in that statement and yet a deep complex truth.
As we move into the business of a new year, let's carry some of December's solitude with us. 2022 will unfold quickly. It's important to set intentions and plant seeds for creation. But it is equally important to take time to be present in today.
Don't be in such a rush to reach tomorrow's chapter that you miss the magic of today's page.
It is balance that we are looking to find in both creation and presence. This will be a practice not a destination, but that's the beauty of it. I may not get to see what the next chapter is bringing but I do get to decide what's on today's page.
Sending all of you many blessings for 2022. May you plant seeds of creation for a fabulous tomorrow while appreciating the beauty of your life's page today.
© 2022 Regina Kitzmiller
photo: Timothy Eberly / Unsplash.com