We are rich, and everything which we possess is a gift and a sign of the love of God and the love of men, it is a continuous gift of divine love; and as long as we possess nothing, love divine is manifested continuously and fully. But everything we take int our own hands to possess is taken out of the realm of love. Certainly it becomes ours, but love is lost. . . the moment we try to be rich by keeping something safely in our hands, we are the losers, because as long as we have nothing in our hands, we can take, leave, do whatever we want. (Bloom, Beginning to Pray)
Today was one of those gorgeous Texas spring days. There was bright sun, a cool breeze, and no bugs. Zenie and I walked down by the river and had a picnic lunch. She had on her old sun hat, pink tutu and green rain boots. I was wearing one of my grandmother’s old blazers and a new pair of dangling earrings. We ate left-over pizza by the water and watched the ducks and turtles. Zenie made up silly songs. Every moment was perfect. God’s richness and love was evident. I wanted to stay there, in that place, sun and ducks and songs and never let it change.
These moments happen from time to time. They used to be reunion lunches with old friends or late night talks around the table. Now often they are the precious cuddles on the couch with my little girl or quiet dinners with Michael. They are times when the world just feels right.
My problem is that just when things feel perfect a tension begins to build in me. I want so much for nothing to change, for things to stay exactly as they are that I try, as Bloom says, to take the moment into my hands, to possess it, to make it last. This tension sometimes is so strong that I end up ruining the moment that I could never have truly captured in the first place.
Of course, sometimes I’m just the opposite. Zenie is sweet and hilarious and I am so caught up in all that I have to do I don’t notice her. The world around me is irrelevant, I am living in the future, or at least in my mind, running through my to do list and missing out on what is right in front of me.
I love being a mom of a toddler and I want so much for my darling little girl to stay as sweet and little as she is right now. Sometimes each moment of growth feels like a loss . Then sometimes I feel like I need to just close my eyes and make it through, to plunge ahead and not stop to look around.
I think part of what Bloom is getting at is that we have to live right now. Not in an imaginary world of what may come, not in trying to stop change from changing and not in the past.
My little girl today is not who she was yesterday (really for those who are around toddlers, you know it is true). Life must be lived in the present, no amount of thinking about the past will actually take me back in time. No worry about the future will get me there sooner. I only have right now. I can cherish it. I can breathe deeply and enjoy the sun and wind and the snuggles. I can know that God is there and his love is there in each moment. And then as time moves on I have to let it go and live in the next moment as it comes. I can’t make my girl stay little but I can enjoy who she is each day. And I can make each day fuller by keeping my mind here, on this time, not reciting an argument from last night, not planning one for tomorrow. Just being there in the sun feeding the ducks, enjoying that God gave me that moment to recognize that what I am enjoying are the manifestations of his divine love.