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.