Being Present

This morning I’m sitting at the confluence of past, present, and future. In reality, we’re all sitting exactly there at every moment of our lives; however, sometimes we’re more aware of the moment than others.

My present moment just happened, so actually it’s in the past, but it set off my thinking about the confluence. As I filled the bird feeders, I thought about a reader of this blog who commented that she liked the way I brought the world of nature into my writing. And when I came back upstairs to my corner of the world and looked out the window, I wondered if the goldfinches had despaired of my care and decided to move on. I’ve not seen a hummingbird for a few days. Has their migration begun?

My thoughts turned to the past, to yesterday, when I was absent from home and bird feeders and observation out my window, and traveled to Powell Gardens, outside of Kansas City, for a presentation on  Carl Jung’s “The Red Book” – his journal of nature, dreams, and drawings. Entering Jung’s work, as it always does, set off a deep rumbling in my soul. As we drove back in the afternoon, the friend who went with me helped me reframe an interesting dream I’d had of rocks and caverns and water.

Which all ties in to my immediate future of driving up to the farm today for a three-day trip. There’s farm business to be done at the county seat and the camper to shut down for the winter. The blood-ripe milo fields will stretch to the horizon as I drive through September’s ripe sunshine.

Tielhard de Chardin, my favorite theologian, wrote an essay called “Mass for the World.” He was riding a donkey across the mountains and came to a rise and looked out over the world. He wrote how he had no bread, no wine, only his thanksgiving and joy to offer.

The above photo is one I took in early summer driving across the Kansas prairie. I understand why most humans, used to the human scale of life, might find the expanse of land and sky empty, but the prairie expands my body, heart, and spirit. A Mass for the World is what I felt like when we topped a rise on the highway and the roll of prairie opened out, a holy place filled with spirit and wonder.

The natural world is a temple all around us and yet we so rarely treated as such. Humans pollute, dig, plunder the earth in a way that would raise an outcry if done in a human-built temple – and probably send the offenders to jail. Interesting that we treat nature’s temple less honorably than human built temples.

I remind you of this gift of nature, this soft September day of ripe sunshine. Reconnect. Empty your head of the prattle of Have-To and see anew.

5 thoughts on “Being Present

  1. As I’m reading your post I’m thinking of our recent trip to Winfield, we got into town after driving through a big rainstorm, the sun was out we set uyp camp ate and went to our 1st concert all of a sudden the sky darkened the tornado siren sounded we go to a shelter and hear a loud noise and lost of heavy rain, then just as suddenly it is over, no one is hurt but lots of tents and awnings are down, including my sisters the sun comes out tents are put up again and we had a great rest of concert; nature is interesting and unpredictable just like life

  2. Ahhh, Janet, once again we are running on parallels. As your heart soars into the open sky of the Kansas prairie, my soul nestles down deeper in my own sheets, at home at last.
    After twelve days in the wild West, I can honestly say that my spirit leaps for joy at the sight of lodge pole pines, swinging in the mountain breezes while also scrunching up very small through the vast open arid areas of our great country.
    My only response to these inner dances is to watch and wonder if I was ever a wee small bird that felt safety in the trees and scared as hell in the open grasses!?
    Enjoy your spirit-flight, my friend.

  3. Love the photo! It feels like home to me. Wide open spaces, and what trees there are, are growing in nice straight rows, just like God intended them to be! 🙂

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