I was standing by the strawberry stand lost in the beauty of the green hills and vineyards surrounding me in beautiful Kenwood. I took a deep breath of the fresh strawberry scented air and in that moment felt completely at peace. It of course lasted about as long as it took me to try and navigate my way back home on a tourist congested Highway 12!
Later I was thinking about how quickly it had passed and wanting to recapture it. I remembered a show I saw a while ago where a fearful child was introduced to a story that helped him let go of worry and accept change.
“One day some people came to see the master and asked ‘How can you be happy in a world of such impermanence? The master held up a glass and said ’Someone gave me this glass, and I really like this glass. It holds my water admirably and it glistens in the sunlight. I touch it and it rings! One day the wind may blow it off the shelf, or my elbow may knock it from the table. And I say, ‘Of course.’ When I understand that the glass is already broken, every moment with it is precious.”
Why worry, it’s already changed anyway! The strawberries are sweet and fragrant but they don’t last. Does that mean I can get no pleasure from them? Can I let go and truly relish the moment I am having and then the next and the next? How easy it is to take an experience or wonderful person in your life for granted, assuming it will always be there the way it is now.
How much of our pain is from trying to hang on to something that is already gone or worrying that it will be soon. Everything changes, everything transforms even if it takes thousands of years. If it’s already changed then relax, you may as well enjoy what is right now. I flashed on this as I read an article about an unconscious young princess who was age shaming an elderly woman at the gym. Does she not get that she herself is already old? It’s a done deal, time marches on.
This keeps coming up for me as I watch this world seemingly spinning out of (our) control. The fear, anger and at times hatred pouring out of people is a direct reaction to things changing in a way they worry is not in their favor. The proof of change for good or bad is evident and the genie will not go back in the bottle and return to what was. Trust that even the things you resist the most have already changed.
So, stop and look around you right now. What do you notice? What do you appreciate? Acceptance is not passivity but an acknowledgement of what is. At this moment in my life, I am aware that most of what I have worried about and focused on wasn’t remotely important. What I value most is the moment of peace at the strawberry stand; love shared in a glance with my husband, uncontrollable laughter with my best friend and profound joy in my time spent with nature and animals. I’m already gone and so are you. Gone yet always here.