One of my go-to contemplation books is the compilation of Florence Scovel Shinn’s writings. Born in 1871, she was an artist, writer, teacher, and metaphysician. Her writing is simple and direct; and always deepens my knowing. Most mornings before the day starts moving quickly, I sit in the quiet, close my eyes, and open Florence’s book to a random page. Today, I opened the book to page 236.
In front of me was the story of the Wizard of Oz. As we all know, Dorothy went searching for what she thought she didn’t have, but desired. She had quite an adventure. And, at the end of her journey, the good witch from the North asked Dorothy what she had learned. Dorothy replied “I have learned that my heart’s desire is in my own home and in my own front yard.”
For today, the first day of the new year, Dorothy, through Florence, gave me the only wisdom I really needed. In the midst of my fond, loving memories of the holiday season, now past; and my intended desires for the future, they reminded me to be present to the moment. The moment is home, my front yard. It is where all life comes to life.
My memories quickly transformed into deep gratitude for every moment of anticipation; every gift given and received; every smile, hug, and “I love you”; and for every bite of food abundantly shared by Mother Earth and lovingly prepared by family and friends. And, all my meanderings for planning in 2013, morphed into a simple promise to myself.
Savor it all. Feel it all.
Know the gift of life itself.
That is, whether resolutions are kept, or not…Whether the year unfolds as planned, or not…Every moment is the promise for experiencing life’s fullness and mystery. As Dorothy discovered, there is no place to go. Life is happening here and now.
As we treasure this first day of 2013, I wish that every new moment be filled with wonder and loving presence to yourself, your family, friends, and the world.
This is now. Now is. Don’t postpone
till then. Spend the spark of iron
on stone. Sit at the head of the table.
Dip your spoon in the bowl. Seat yourself
next to your joy and have your awakened soul
pour wine. Cloth
for green robes has been cut from pure
absence. You’re the tailor, settled
among his shop goods, quietly sewing.
Thank you for being in my now. Happy New Year!