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Present (s)

image retrieved from http://www.tresblessed.blogspot.com

I was on my way back to class- after having scrubbed my soup bowl clean in our staff room sink- when I caught him at it. He had stopped to talk to a colleague of mine and the two shared a laugh or two; after which, Mr. Man skipped along down the hall with perfect timing, in flawless formation. Never missing a beat. I watched him, in awe. It was priceless, really. A moment of absolute bliss both for him and for me. I was transfixed, he- oblivious to anything but the rapture he was feeling in that given moment. No one to tell him “walk, don’t run!” No orders to find his place in the line-up, or directives to “stay in your spot”. No one to say anything. Just one to watch and one to move in such beauty of fluidity in motion- it near brought me to tears.

Oh, to live in such abandon.

It’s a brand new year. 2015- so much ahead, but only today to live. Only this moment. And this one- right now. Just this. Never more than we can handle- never less. Keeping us forever in the present.

And what a gift that present is.

Sure- it brings things like frozen pipes that reek plugged toilets.

I arrive home, finding myself in the upstairs bathroom shortly after school, in frigid temperatures no less- stumbling over snow and ice with five or six grocery bags in tow: only to find that there is no running water up there.  NONE. Youngest cheerfully informs us after using the facilities. And Husband then realizes that he will doubtless spend the next three hours sitting perched over stone-cold rads where he will hold a heat gun to them, moving from room to room- blowing hot stinky air down the grates in the hopes of melting some of that unforgiving ice. His Oldest Daughter will declare that indeed something smells. His wife- the one who turned the heat completely off just this morning, thinking she was doing him a favor (saving money), will apologize profusely.

And the gift gives on.

Sure. This adventure-filled present brings us other fun stuff- like cranky children, and chaotic suppers. Like spilled Bath and Body Works soap inside bathroom cupboards. And it calls to mind every other adventure our family has experienced in the not-so-distant past: from the minor (exploding pop cans) to the more urgent (freak flooding). Calls us yet again to the even more serious moments in life when one is immediately brought to attention- no more games, no more laughing. Just sombre tones, grim expressions.

Moments where life is abruptly terminated and time begins again in another Place of which I can now only imagine.

Can even these present moments be a gift?

Here is what I read today, beautiful thought if there ever was one:

“You have absolutely only one decision to make every day: how will you use your time?
New Years comes right after Christmas because the ultimate bottom line is:
Time is certainly one of the most precious gifts you ever get, because you only ever get a certain amount of it” (Ann Voskamp).

There are no guarantees.  For every moment (right down to the second) is a gift- it’s our present.

So for today: let’s use our present moments to embrace the life we have been given right now. That’s all we have. And it might be messy, might be imperfect- even unpleasant at times. But these present moments have been given to us as a gift- our precious present.

May we never take them for granted.

May we live them with abandon.

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