I’m writing this under a mackerel sky (never long wet, never long dry, according to old sailor’s wisdom) with my feet steeping in a cold herbal bath. Just in front of me there’s a small tree heavy with underripe peaches, and a little dog sniffing around, taking nibbles out of them, one by one. A tiny hummingbird is perched on a low branch of a very large pine- it looks to be the size of one of those tiny chenille chicks you sometimes see around Easter. It’s a beautiful morning.
Despite all this evidence of summer, my mind has started visiting fall already. Pumpkins, apples, sweaters (a pipe dream here in Southern California, where fall is often our hottest season, but my mind still goes there from my formative years) and the start of school seem like they’re practically here and it’s not quite the middle of July yet.
We hear a lot about the value of staying in the present- and I’m not here to argue that- but there’s also value in looking ahead and, of course in looking back.
Looking ahead, I see the plans and medicine I want to make. Looking further ahead, I see the life
I’m building, not only for myself and my daughter, but also for the generations that will follow us.
There’s a lot of contradiction and inconsistency in humanity’s idea of what needs to change to
‘save the world’ (according to the ones who created its peril in the first place ; ) So in looking
ahead, I consider what needs to change in me for humanity to be in a better place in three
Looking back, I see what has and hasn’t worked before. Looking back even further, I see my distant, pre-patriarchal ancestors reminding me to always follow their lead of staying close to the Earth and Elements, close to my body, close to the parts of life that aren’t totally reliant on technology (I just switched back to my dutch oven after a few years with an instant pot and I’m remembering all the benefits of slowness that outweigh the convenience of speed- and they usually have a lot to do with me. My delayed gratification muscle, my level of organization and, ahem, ability to look ahead, my sense of entitlement to Jetsons’ level food prep (for the folks who remember George and Jane and their space-age family. Who knew that glossy future was hiding horrific pollution and the globalization of consumerism??)).
The past behind me and future ahead of me are all part of this present moment right here. Each of us is worlds within worlds within worlds. So much burden and so much potential.
When we see a person do something that we struggle to understand, we usually forget that there are these universes inside them that we’ll never visit.
Weaving the past and the future together into a tapestry called The Present Moment gives our lives context and depth. It can also be a foundation for genuine compassion- simply appreciating how complex we are and giving everyone else permission to be that complex too.
And I wonder, what past and future are influencing your present moment? What do you feel when you look ahead? I know in my bones that Life needs us, no matter what your path is leading you to do (I also know that when you’re following your heart’s lead, it’s impossible to cause serious damage to anything that doesn’t need to be seriously damaged). Life needs you.
If you don’t feel clarity and alignment and want help getting into alignment before the fall and winter test your balance, I’m here for 1:1 sessions, wherever you are.
The crows are cawing at me. What I hear is that it’s time to put my computer away now.
The mackerel sky has transformed into fluffy giants sliding across the sky as slow as snails.
The eternal in me bows to the eternal in you.
Time to grab some breakfast.