Tuesday, August 23, 2011

My 800th post!!!

Yup, it's true; I've posted thoughts, questions, doubts, fears, stories, travel tales, and silly jokes 799 times. Thank you to all of you who have read and reread and commented and called and texted and encouraged me to keep writing. I had no idea that when I started blogging back in October of 2004, I'd have so much to say and so much to learn through this process of spilling my mind, heart, and soul here. And there is still so far to go, so far to grow.


Today I've been reminded of the importance of living in this moment, right here, right now. The importance of not staying stuck in the mistakes - or even the joys - of the past. Not worrying about the potential triumphs - or even the potential disasters - of the future. My goal is to learn to be here. Breathe deep and stay right here.

It was around 1:45 pm. I had just finished working out. I was on the floor of my bedroom stretching. I heard the door of my daughter's bedroom rattling in its frame. Like she was pushing and pulling on the doorknob trying to open the door... except that she wasn't in her room. I walked down the hallway to the room where my son was watching television. By the time I got to where he was, all the doors on the hallway were rattling - and I knew exactly what we were experiencing - an earthquake.

I told him to get out of the house. I ran back to my bedroom for my cell phone and followed him and our sweet little doggie out onto the driveway. I stared at my son, at our dog, at our home - and immediately gave thanks: "We are safe. The house is still standing. All is well." We looked up and down the street - no one else was outside. We stood, talked for a few minutes, and then went back inside. I called Steve at work and Kristiana at school to make sure they were both fine - they were. We turned on the news - a 5.9 earthquake had shaken the entire east coast. After the story of the earthquake came the warning about incoming Hurricane Irene - barreling towards the east coast, the Carolinas, to be more specific.

After my shower, my son and I headed to Trader Joe's to stock up on juice boxes, bottled water, crackers, corn chips, cereal, and other supplies that wouldn't require cooking or refrigeration. It's all stuff we would eat and drink anyway, but with a huge storm coming, I want us to have a few extra goodies on hand in case we lose power for a few days.

After unpacking the food, walking the dog, and coming upstairs to my bedroom, it hit me again:
This is it, Gail. You have only today.
There is no tomorrow. There is no yesterday.
Love that boy today. Love that girl today.
Tell the truth today. Clear up confusion today.
Eat good food. Drink sweet tea.
Slather on the lotion. Spritz on that favorite scent.
Slip into that cute skirt and the "Life is good" tee shirt.
Write the letter. Make the phone call.
Do it now. Do it right now.
This is it.

Anthony deMello said it well - 
"Drop every thought of the future,
every thought of the past,
every image and distraction - 
come into the present."

So here I sit. Writing. Thinking. Breathing. 
Giving thanks for this present moment.
After the earthquake.
Before the hurricane.
Betwixt and between - here I sit.
At peace. 

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