As a new season has swept in through the limbs of late September, I find myself (again and always) marveling at the passage of time. The leaves, still heavy and full of greens deepened by summer, are just beginning to flirt with change and try on new colors. They are passing through, just like us. It is a time of transition that I, too, feel in my own bony branches, in my sinews and filaments, in my tender heart space. I pray that I would be as open to what is and what is to come as these brave leaves.
In the midst of these changing, seasonal winds, I feel tugged by both a deep longing for the silhouettes of the past and a fumbling towards what may lie ahead. I can so easily be distracted from the present by falling into rhythms of playing and replaying what has been, pondering what could have been, and wrestling with what I still do not and may never understand. Similarly, just as I can bury myself into yesterday, so too can I lose myself and the present moment in the imaginative fantasies, musings, or worries of tomorrow that appear and become so real in my head.
Enter Frederick Buechner‘s wise words to bring pause, remind, and shed light into the clearing of Today. No matter what has been, and no matter what may come, we have this very present gift — this new dawn — of Today:
“It is a moment of light surrounded on all sides by darkness and oblivion. In the entire history of the universe, let alone in your own history, there has never been another just like it and there will never be another just like it again. It is the point to which all your yesterdays have been leading since the hour of your birth. It is the point from which all your tomorrows will proceed until the hour of your death. If you were aware of how precious it is, you could hardly live through it. Unless you are aware of how precious it is, you can hardly be said to be living at all.
‘This is the day which the Lord has made,’ says Psalm 118. ‘Let us rejoice and be glad in it’ (v. 24). Or weep and be sad in it for that matter. The point is to see it for what it is, because it will be gone before you know it. If you waste it, it is your life that you’re wasting. If you look the other way, it may be the moment you’ve been waiting for always that you’re missing.
All other days have either disappeared into darkness and oblivion or not yet emerged from it. Today is the only day there is.”
May we bask in this clearing — this moment of light — this miracle.
May we, like the leaves, turn and open, and allow ourselves to be lifted and seen through — right down to our heart stem — as we live in the only day there is.
“…let us rejoice and be glad in it.”