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Tuesday, 31 January 2012

The Moment

Small children have a gift. It is the gift of living in the moment. When I was a child the first snowfall thrilled me, it was magical. It was like I had never seen snow before.  I used to marvel at my children's ability to take joy in the smallest things or be absolutely engrossed in things that most adults wouldn't even notice. I remember Pieter as a three year old crouching down to examine a dead frog in the road. A bit gross for most people but absolutely fascinating to a three year old. He used to take things apart, to see how they went together. He didn't worry about getting them back together. Luke would to wake up singing and dancing, no thought about where his meals were coming from or what his future would be. Luke,  at twenty, still lives in the moment more than any other person I know. He loves to create, sing, play music and philosophize but even he worries at times about the future. Watching my children grow and discover the world was a joy. I remember Anna following our dog Bashful around and taking such pleasure in the way she wagged her tale. I loved how determined she was to ride a bike, she persevered like there was nothing more important in the world. Tina was another one that would sing, dance, twirl completely free from worldly constraints.
When Grace was about a year old, I was facing some issues within myself that were overwhelmingly painful. One spring day she and I were out in the garden. I was hanging laundry and she was sitting on the grass near me. I noticed that she was totally oblivious to what I was doing. She was looking around herself in wonderment. Lost in the moment. I wrote this about it:


My baby sits in the garden

The grass curls around her legs

as if she is born of the earth.

a sunny flower.

She waves at a bumble bee

and strokes the grass with

her soft hand.

I pick her up and hold her,

her heart close to mine,

perhaps to share in that 

deep, wide unsuspecting innocence.

She doesn't know the brown grass of summer

or the bee's sting

and when she's close

I forget.

Every once in awhile we forget ourselves and become totally lost in the moment. Sometimes sitting beside a lake early in the morning,with the mist rising off the water  we glory in the dawn. We stop thinking, we just are. In church when a great piece of music is played we close our eyes and soar far above the earth. In the spring we go for a walk and breath deeply of the fresh smell of earth and plant life. We are caught up in the green newness of the world.  In prayer we are transported from the here and now and are engulfed in the ecstasy of the Lord's presence. Every time these things happen it is because I have forgotten myself and am more aware of God's kingdom. Life, as we grow, grows busy, we become weighted down with doubts, self-consciousness and worry. We have experienced pain and at times old wounds seem fresh. I have learned that at those times it is important to stop, look outside myself, run to the one who created us and wants us to live with him always. "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear" 1 John 4:8 "How great is the love the Father has given us so freely! Now we can be called children of God." 1 John 3:1
Anna and Bashful

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