Living in a serious, years-long drought might be the best ever teacher for being in the moment. Walking this morning, seeing the trees that are breaking out in their stunning colors after what felt like a nonexistent winter, part of me screams NO while another part of me is falling headlong into them, feeling the ecstasy of such beauty, reaching for my camera, and feeling the aliveness of spring coursing through me.
I know it does no one - Earth especially - any good the anxiousness that I feel on a daily basis living in a drought. How I look at the browning Redwood trees, the parched, cracked soil, the dry creek beds, the birds hovering over my now disconnected fountain through the filter of fear rather than love. How my body tenses up when I read what scientists say about the history of droughts in California - that some of them have lasted for hundreds of years. How many days go by without prayers for the earth because frankly, I just feel fearful and powerless.
There is absolutely no knowing how long this drought will last. We may be at the beginning of something long, or at the end of something relatively short. It could end next week, it could continue into next century. There's just no knowing. There's no knowing how long my current fibromyalgia flare will last, or the level of pain I will wake up with each morning and carry with me through the day. Nor can we, my daughters and I, know how long we will continue to live together while they are putting their lives, which unexpectedly blew apart, back together. I did not know that my marriage would end, that I would be torn from my home and my beloved garden, or that the man that I loved before my husband would be there one day and with no warning leave the next, nor how that experience would eclipse my life for decades to come. I did not know that when I opened my heart to life, to love, that it could be shattered in so many different ways and incredibly moved in so many others. I did not know when I was experiencing infertility if I would ever get pregnant; I did not know that gaining four pounds that I could not take off would lead me on a journey that would change everything, or that living in constant fear could become an incredible doorway, any more than I knew that the woman who walked so innocently (and blissfully!) into my women's group, in the middle of my torturous dark night five years ago, was destined to become my absolute soul sister.
We know nothing. We do not know what the next hour will bring, much less the next day. All we know is right now, this moment. If the last five years have taught me nothing, they have taught me this. (Really? Because still, I resist...!) And so when spring presents itself, when I turn a corner and my breath is stolen by such beauty, when my heart wants to close and my mind wants to struggle with what is, something else gives me no choice, something that knows what is true just gives itself to the moment... Oh what an opportunity! To just be in this one moment, for better, for worse, letting it wash over us, the good, the bad, and everything in between, let it open our hearts - let it open my heart, big, wide, deep, which in truth, is all that I ever truly long for.