present

When The Present Is A Present

I’m sat on the ledge of my swimming pool, my feet submerged in turquoise glistening water up to my ankles as pink and yellow frangipani flutter down from the sweet smelling tree above, encasing me in pretty patterns of colour. I watch the petals float in circles in the gentle current of the water as two dragonflies fight for my attention, zooming past my head – one a pearlescent ocean blue and the other a fiery, blood red. My little Kintamani puppy is laid out next to me on the grass, languishing in the sweltering heat enjoying intermittent kisses and belly rubs that I can’t help but smother her with.

The sing song of birds perched on the traditionally carved tall Balinese temple post in my garden fills the air, carried by a mild breeze that makes the alocasia leaf plants nearby – almost four feet in height – gently sway. I can’t help but grin to myself at the laughter and squeals of my Balinese neighbour’s children playing in the street outside of my wrought iron gate. They often stop to peek through the bottom of the elaborate iron flower design to say hello and talk to me in Bahasa – most of which I don’t understand but we communicate with smiles, waves and puppy cuddles.

The huge thirty foot breadfruit tree in the garden next door is ripe with fruit that hangs like bunches of mangos and is currently attracting various coloured butterflies rather large in size, fluttering their rainbow coloured wings against a backdrop of yet more frangipani, this time white flowered. The tree looms over the high bordering wall of my house and I watch in amusement as a swarming trail of large red ants march along the ledge narrowly avoiding a very furry caterpillar the length of my hand.

And it hits me quite profoundly how fortunate I am at this time. Really fortunate. Not to live in the paradise that is Bali, Indonesia or any of the other pretty countries I have lived. Ultimately those have been choices and risks I have taken and with a lot of dedication, willpower and courage have always managed to carve myself a temporary life. Everybody has that choice if they so wish.

I’m fortunate because today I’m able to appreciate how blessed I am, how wonderful this moment is, how beautiful nature can be and how content and at peace I am with life right now. I’m grateful to able to fully experience this moment on every level, not just to be sat here (as I have on many occasion over the last eight months) with my mind distracted by superfluous BS, worries and pressures from overthinking and trying to control my future. It’s in moments such as those that I’m mostly in a state of panic, fear and anxiety and I’m never really ‘seeing’ the magical surroundings that I’m in and taking note of the beauty around me. Simply because I haven’t fully immersed myself in the here and now. The present moment.

I’ve experienced so many wonderful countries, places, people, things and moments in my lifetime and despite my awareness; it’s not every day that I remember to drink it in and give thanks in the correct way. By which I mean offering up a ‘thank you’ to the universe. A thank you for being fully connected to the divine and knowing that wherever life takes me I’m always guided and there will always be the beauty of nature to lift my spirit and help me to appreciate how transient, changing and yet fully supportive, life can be.

It’s at times like this that I feel most alive, most able to appreciate everything that makes my life truly wonderful and help me to remember that no matter what happens – if we try to live in the present moment, we are fully connected to a source of peace, contentment and faith. The present moment brings clarity – it helps us to feel every part of our being, to experience what really is (not what our fleeting emotions, judgement and fear tells us is) and to subconsciously understand that we are part of something greater that will not let us down. It reminds us that life must be lived moment to moment and our focus should not be on what is to come and instead on what is offered right now.

With gratitude and awareness of the present moment we can find a sense of well being that is otherwise lost to us amongst our egos desire to control life.

This is your reminder to appreciate the present moment. And whilst it will not always be a moment spent in a pretty location or a happy situation, there will be always something to be very grateful for. So, go ahead – be conscious of the now and say thank you for it’s gift.

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