25 Nov Day 9 Pie and the Present Moment
We are gearing up for Thanksgiving this week. We usually go to my mom’s for dinner but she hasn’t been well so this year it’s at my house. I’m excited. Thanksgiving has always been an important holiday for my family. First because I love a day devoted to gratitude. I wish there were more. And second because my first date with my husband was Thanksgiving dinner at my mom’s so it’s an anniversary of sorts. I’m thankful that Thanksgiving Day is part of the reason I have a family of my own. This is our 12th Thanksgiving dinner. I can’t believe how quickly the years have gone by.
This year my dad’s illness is on all of our minds. Not because he is sick (he remains temporarily symptom free) but because we don’t know how many more Thanksgivings we are going to get. This helps me to keep sight of what really matters and I’m finding myself simplifying the menu and the work it’s going to involve so that I can have a glass of wine and sit with my family and participate in the fun instead of spending the day in the kitchen. Last Christmas my dad and I started a new tradition of making chocolate cream pies for dessert. We did this one time when I was about the age my oldest daughter is now. It remains one of my favorite childhood memories. It turns out it was one of his too and we wanted to do it again, this time with the next generation. So we made about 10 chocolate cream pies last Christmas. It was a bit of overkill and we ran out of people to give them to. My dad came over yesterday for pie making and this time 3 pies turned out to be just the right amount.
I wish the pictures were better but I didn’t want to break the spell of the moment. It was such a treat to watch my girls with my dad. Always the teacher, him telling them how crush the graham crackers and letting them mix in the butter for the crust. They were laughing and making a mess. It was perfect. It was painful but perfect. How I hope that we get to do this again next year. How grateful I am that we got to do it this year. I think that is what being in the present moment is all about – being in an experience while at the same time recognizing that it is special and fleeting. When I am rushing around crazy in my life I don’t notice or tap into this. When I am calm, centered and my emotional/spiritual tank is full I am fully present in everything I do. Eckhart Tolle says that in the present moment, there are no problems and it is always the present moment. So for me this week, as I enjoy Thanksgiving with my family I will not regret the past and the years my dad and I were not close. I will not mourn for the future and what it holds for his health and our family. I will deeply delight in right now. Right now he is feeling good. Right now we are together and closer than we have ever been. Right now his granddaughters get the pleasure of his company and his mad pie-making skills. Right now life is good. Right now there is joy.
Today practice focusing on this moment. You may have problems five minutes ago or five minutes from now but in this moment all is well (and it is always this moment.)