As our meeting ended, he, a man with whom I have done business with for many years, rose from my kitchen table and gave me a lasting gift. We had discussed financial futures, the stock market, the economy, the recent election. Not only was what he shared a gift to me, it was the way he shared it. He didn’t give me advice in this regards, he shared from his personal experience. One night of fitful sleep, he said, he had recited the following as a mantra until slumber returned:
“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow a mystery. Today is a gift of the present.”
Yes. And, when I am present, I notice the beautiful gift of my surroundings. Throughout the seasons, my petite patio garden offers up a varying feast of visual treats. For three days I’d zipped by these tiny delights as I rushed out to my garage. On the go! I was.
Finally, yesterday, I stopped. The little sprig Maple, a “volunteer” that adopted us, had turned golden. It had finally grown tall enough to be a looker. Some critter had gnawed parts of its sweet leaves. Typical. The Buddha sat in silence while cut back vines continued to encircle. The beach stones spilling from clay pots had taken on a blue hue. My beloved old conch sat stately, a steady reminder of different terrain. A red leaf lay in contrast to a sprawling evergreen, welcoming me at the patio entrance, backdropped by the mulch of a left-over variegated fall colour show. And by surprise, I saw a collection of small pine needles, swept in from the neighboring forest, had formed a figure. A curled leaf her brooch beneath her ponytailed coiff….Nature is, after all, the original artist.
This. This reminder. Nature knows the past is dead. Nature never entertains a frivolous worry about a future unborn. No, it revels in this present moment, offering it a gift to me if I stop to notice.
Today is a gift of the present.