For the past few weeks, I’ve been walking along the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee most weekdays during my lunch break. While doing so, I’ve enjoyed the sights: kayakers, other walkers (some with dogs), people fishing from docks or boats, children daring to dip their hands and feet into the still cold water, and, of course, the wonderful natural lake and mountains views.
One day, I saw a group of young children huddled together near a concrete bench with dedication words engraved on the side of it. The oldest one, acting like she knew how to read, impressed the younger ones with a tall tale of what was written there. I listened in while passing by and it made me think about the wonderful imagination kids have and how we tend to lose our imaginations as we grow up. (I’m happy to say I’ve never completely grown up—out maybe, but not up.)
Lately, during my walks, I’ve started to think about how someday I’d like to live in this beautiful lakeside town. Someday . . . Someday . . . I think of the living space I’ll have, how I’ll write at a desk while gazing out at the bay, and how I’ll be able to enjoy even more walks. Doesn’t sound like a bad thing to do, right? Wishing for something so wonderful?
But, while reading Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert last night, I read a very significant line and that’s when I realized I was beginning to lose my focus. By wishing so much for a future event, I had begun to deprive myself of the full pleasures of the present moment—the only thing I’m assured of.
Yes, someday I’d like to live there, but when I’m enjoying these walks, or even when I’m looking out at the same beautiful view from my “day job” desk (yes, I’m fortunate), I’m already there—praying, loving, and okay, maybe not eating much, but breathing in the fresh, clean air, enjoying the sights, and living—REALLY LIVING!
(BTW – Did you know a walk like this is even more pleasurable than food?)
All we have is the present moment, and sometimes we ruin it by trying to live in the future instead—or maybe even in the past.
The past is gone. The future isn’t guaranteed.
Live in the moment.