Saturday, 6 June 2015

Living in the moment

By James Kyle

Henry David Thoreau once said: “You cannot perceive beauty but with a serene mind.”  The essence of beauty is serenity, a presence and connection in a particular time and place that resonates in the soul: an acceptance of the perfection of the moment. And to promote more of this in our lives we simply need to become more aware of what is. 

Perhaps as we pass over a mountain pass we smile as we notice that the hills are like part of a children’s drawing: rounded humped green hills, iced with snow, and sprinkled with clumps of conifer trees. Further on we see some mist shrouded mountain peaks shepherding docile tranquil lakes by their sides, penned in by surrounding green meadows. We find ourselves walking alongside a fence and we see a beautiful black horse galloping across a field. We see stretching cats, and squatting squirrels, and hovering hummingbirds and parading ducks, and beautiful yellow flowers as we continue along our way. Then we see a bird of prey, whose goal is survival, arc down from a tree trying to intersect with the straight line dash of a rabbit, whose goal is survival. The rabbit escapes and we sense the beauty of the moment. And we go on our way with the question, if the hawk had caught the rabbit, would it still have been beautiful?

We see beauty in trees, and the space between the trees, and light and shadow, and shape and form, and composition. We hear beauty in the sound of the waves hitting the piers of a peaceful marina, with a cooling sea breeze caressing our face, as we listen to the sound of the birds signing in the trees in the background. We see beauty in the shine and the feel of the leaves of a tree. We see beauty in the leaves that fall and swirl in the wind, revealing a vortex of air movement that we otherwise would not have known was there, reminding us of how we are surrounded by unseen forces every moment of our lives. And perhaps we even see beauty as we watch ghost cars gliding under the ground, reflections in the rain drenched streets of a city centre, and appreciate the beauty of something that normally we wouldn’t even have noticed. And of course we see the beauty in other people. Whether it was a smile of a passerby, or the naturalness of someone’s way of being, or the ability of someone to reach out to us, to complement us, to touch us in some way. And last but not least we see beauty in ourselves. The beauty of a quiet mind focused on the moment. The beauty of moving into service and loving relationship with others. The beauty that we all bring to this world.

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