|Photo Credit: Vinod Chandar|
This experience reminded me of how easily we can bypass the joy that lives in such small moments. I was also reminded that we can cultivate our capacity for joy by purposefully pausing in those moments when we experience even the
slightest tendril of delight or just a hint of “Ah…happiness.”
I often turn to Mary Oliver as one of the poets who most inspires me to pause and savor the moment.
Oh, to love what is lovely, and will not last!
What a task to ask
of anything, or anyone,
yet it is ours,
and not by the century or the year, but by the hours.
One fall day I heard
above me, and above the sting of the wind, a sound I did not know, and my look shot upward; it was a flock of snow geese, winging it faster than the ones we usually see,
and, being the color of snow, catching the sun
so they were, in part at least, golden.
I held my breath as we do
sometimes to stop time
when something wonderful
has touched us...
The geese flew on.
I have never seen them again.
Maybe I will, someday, somewhere.
Maybe I won’t.
It doesn’t matter.
is that, when I saw them,
I saw them as through the veil, secretly, joyfully, clearly.
The poet “held her breath as we do sometimes,” creating a pause so that she could be fully present to her experience of joy. She offers us a beautiful teaching.
Perhaps when you next experience a tendril of delight or a just a hint of happiness, you might remember Mary Oliver’s words and
“…stop time when something wonderful has touched you...”
pausing to become familiar with how that taste of joy or happiness lives in your body, heart and mind.
Adapted from Radical Acceptance (2003)