Are you awake and present?

dragonfly-eating-a-fly

It’s not every day you get to see a dragonfly eating a fly.  A friend of mine took this photo at work (notice the canoe yard in the background!).  It impressed me that he 1) had the presence of mind to notice such a thing, and 2) was fascinated enough to stop what he was doing and delight in what nature was sharing with him.  And you know what?  His life is richer for it.

IMG_1898

On a similar note, the other day, I did an all-day kayak.  I hadn’t planned as well as I should’ve and was getting a little dehydrated with rationing the water I had left.  Wouldn’t you know it, hubby (on his return from fishing for the day) happened by with a water bottle for me.  In addition, I’d had a bit too much sun.  It just so happened that God gave me a small cloud, blocking the sun for the length of my paddle home, along with a slight tailwind (unusual for this lake).  It made me wonder how many times He’s done things like that for me that I didn’t appreciate or notice.

Our modern age of stress, busy-ness, and dependency on e-connectivity doesn’t help.  It creates so many barriers that make it nearly impossible for anyone to unplug long enough to enjoy the gifts of the day.

Case in point:  Last night, we enjoyed a lovely evening and 4th of  July celebration in Grand Marais, MN with some friends.  The company was delightful; the weather was gorgeous; the band’s music was lively; Lake Superior was beautiful; the food smelled decadent; and the fireworks display over the bay was lovely.

I especially loved hearing the boom of the fireworks echoing off the surrounding mountainsides, reminiscent of what I imagine cannon fire to sound like.  But I also watched the crowd.  I don’t know how many of them actually saw the fireworks.  You see, they were all watching the video display of the fireworks on their phones.  Sitting right there, they were watching their phones, as if sitting in their living rooms watching television.

I would suggest that unless you’re fully present (in whatever you’re doing), you’re missing out.  You’re only capturing a fragment of the experience…  a brief glimpse of what the experience could’ve been for you.  Yes, you can play the recording over and over again, but it doesn’t begin to simulate what the actual real experience could’ve been.  And you’ve missed it.

Teaching yourself to be fully present does take some discipline and patience.  The reward is worth it, though.  Our lives can be filled with so much more than we’re allowing them to be.

Quoting from one of our favorite movies, Joe vs. the Volcano:
“only a few people are awake and they live in a state of constant total amazement.”

I’m absolutely convinced this is true.

But I also believe that we can choose a different today than we had yesterday.

Are you ready to watch for the dragonflies in your day?

One thought on “Are you awake and present?

  1. I totally agree. There are many days I spend just sitting and watching out the window. The cat seems to enjoy it so I try to see what she is seeing. It’s fun.

    Like

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