Looking towards the future or examining the past gets in the way of too many of my present moments. Here on the mountain, where I am surrounded by beauty, I am often jolted out of my plans and reflections by some stunning moment of light or beauty or simply by nature’s complexity. I wish I didn’t need the jolt so often, though I’m glad I at least wake up when I get the jolt. Living without ever getting jolted by these amazing moments would be nightmarish.
For me, part of the difficulty of remaining in the moment has to do with forecasts. When a big storm is moving across the county, I know about it days before it arrives. When radar shows a huge migration lift-off up the east coast of the U.S., as it did last evening, I know the spring songbirds are coming. It’s difficult for me to stay in the moment when I know I’m about to get 2 feet or snow or when I know the raptors and songbirds will arrive tonight or tomorrow.
I’m not saying forecasts are a bad thing or that I wouldn’t want to know the storm is about to arrive. I’m just saying that forecasts feed into spending time planning for the future to the detriment of enjoying and appreciating the present moment. I can’t say that I know how to reconcile the very real benefit of a forecast with staying in and enjoying the present moment. I guess I’ll have to work on that. Some days I don't seem to be making a lot of progress.
But just so you know—the spring songbirds are on their way.