This morning I went for a ride on my bicycle. With the sun shining and a cool breeze in the air, I zoomed down the bike path, admiring the beautiful trees and gardens along the way, while inhaling the refreshing ocean air. It felt so good to be alive!
From a distance I could see the sun sparkling off the ocean water and all about me, I could hear the birds singing in the trees.
And then I had to slow down, as there were now more walkers, walking in both directions.
“I’m not the only one enjoying this beautiful morning,” I thought to myself.
When the first set of walkers coming towards me passed by, I smiled and said, “Good morning”! I was, however, only greeted with looks of surprise. The next person ignored me all together. Finally, a sweet looking elderly couple holding hands looked up in surprise and rewarded me with huge smiles and a hearty “Good morning!”
Even though each of these exchanges only took a split of a second, they each left an impact.
The look of surprise and subsequent non-response from first group of walkers left me feeling curious, asking myself questions like, “Why are they so surprised. Are their lives so insulated that they walk in the world separate from others? Are they so deep in conversation they forgot the rest of the world is out there? Is it just New England that is this unfriendly? Everyone says “Hi” in Florida. Hmmmmm.”
The reaction from the second walker left me feeling sad. Sad for this individual who is so caught up in her thoughts or worries that she could come out of them perhaps. I did not have enough time to assess the feeling because the elderly couple took me right out of my thoughts and right into the incredible now!
In that one engaging interaction, it was like our worlds coincided for a brief moment in time, in the present moment of love and open hearts. It lasted no more than seconds, but in those seconds, I felt deeply connected, as if they too saw the beauty around me that I was seeing. In that moment, I forgot about my thoughts and my sadness and I smiled.
I smiled and I enjoyed my bike ride even more.
When I got home, I smiled thinking about the sweet smiles of this couple, the sweetness of their handholding, and the sweetness of the spring air. I felt light hearted and happy, and I thought, what a contrast of feelings I had today.
Separateness versus connectedness. A closed heart versus an open one. Sad versus happy. Somewhere else versus right here, right now.
The thing is, when any of us live in the state of a closed heart, a state of being separate, living in yesterday or worrying about tomorrow, we miss the miracles of the right now.
So put away your mobile phone. Clear your mind. Open your heart and put a smile on your face. Take some luxuriously long deep breaths and appreciate the present moment.
Find the miracles. They are right there in front of you.