enjoying the present moment

Are you missing the three-leafed clovers?


I've had a really sick cat. (But he might be getting better.)  And I'm not beyond being a little superstitious, even when it's a bit silly.  So today, when we got home from the vet, he went out to rest in the grass and I decided to join him as I often do.  Grass time is always important. And while I was sitting there, amidst the clover, I thought I'd search for a four-leafed clover.  They're not as uncommon as you might think, and I thought finding one could be a sign. Something to comfort me.  To convince me that everything would be ok, and that Buster isn't on his ninth life just quite yet.  One like this one I found in about two minutes a month or so ago.


So I ruffled through the leaves, gazed past all the three-leafed clovers, looking for my prize.  And then something happened.  I got caught up in how pretty the raindrops looked on the leaves.  I ruminated about the cycle of life, right there before me, in fresh clover flowers and ones that had already browned and gone to seed.  I noticed how many shades of green there are, just in clover leaves.


And I realized I didn't need to find a four-leafed clover today.  I already had my prize.

How often in life do we skip over all the beautiful everyday moments - the three-leafed clovers- while we're waiting and searching, anticipating our prize - a big event, a vacation, something major to look forward to?  It's fascinating, isn't it?

How would life be different if we did a better job of noticing three-leafed clovers?  All the small miracles - all the beauty and magic that surrounds us.  How many millions of three-leafed clover moments are there - ready to be savored and appreciated?

What three-leafed clover moments have you noticed lately?  I would love to hear about them.  Share yours in the comments, if you like.

P. S. As I wrap up this post much later in the evening, I'm happy to report that the sweet cat has indeed revived, yet again.  And I am savoring every 3-leafed moment with him.

Arguing with Mother Nature

The magnolias started flowering in mid-January.  And I got sad.  And then I started making calculations, and wishing.  Wishing for things to slow down.  Wishing for time to stop - for the trees to stay in their pink and white spangled glory.  Wishing for the flowers not to fade, for the green leaves that follow the flowers to wait a little longer.  You see, my mom is coming to visit in about ten days.  And last year, around Valentine's Day, our star magnolia tree in the yard was full of fragrant, saucer-sized blooms that looked like this: And the city was awash with pink.  And I wanted my mom to get to see that this year. But everything is too early - it's going to be over by then.

So, a couple of weeks ago, when I drove past a tree in crazy full-pink bloom, I would argue with Mother Nature in my head.  I thought things like, "Can't this just wait a little longer?"  or my favorite - a simple, "Nooooo!"

Not a great way to enjoy one of the most spectacular annual natural treats in the city.

Then I realized what I was doing.  I was refusing to enjoy something beautiful because I wanted it to happen at a different time.  I was seriously arguing with reality.  No matter how hard I wished or what kinds of imagining I did, the trees were not going to suddenly go back in time to fuzzy buds.  They weren't going to wait.  And I could be present and enjoy it, or miss it completely.

How many times do we do this? We do it with the weather -- it's raining right now as I write this -- will it still be raining for the big parade tonight?  Who knows, but I don't think I can mind control it to stop! We do it with people we know and love.  How many times do we find ourselves trying to change someone else with our thoughts- convincing ourselves that everything would be fine and we could enjoy ourselves if they would just act differently, for heaven's sake!

The truth is, the only thing we really have the power to change is our own viewpoint.  Our own lens.  Life gets a whole lot lighter when we aren't trying to get other people to be different or make the weather the way we want.  It gets lighter when we stay in our own business - taking care of what we really can do something about.

So the past few days, I've been admiring the trees.  Smelling the blooms.  Enjoying the fallen petals.  Remembering that this blooming doesn't last, and reminding myself to enjoy this beautiful, rainy, flowering, present moment.

When my mom gets here there will be plenty of lovely, special, and perhaps even surprising things to enjoy, even if they aren't pink magnolia blooms.