I was being a good lil’ Aimee & I was crossing things off of my to-do list. The day was zipping by when something caught my eye as I was running in the park for exercise (“go for a run” was number 4 on the to-do list). What I saw was a grown man with his shirt & shoes off wading (well, more like playing) in a puddle. My first thought was, “Is he homeless?” But as I continued to run & got closer I noticed that he had an expensive shoulder bag & sporty shoes sitting on the park bench close to him. On that bench was also a New York City tourist guide written in a foreign language. He seemed to be a middle-aged man from Eastern Europe that must have been visiting the Museum next to the park I was running in. The puddle he was happily enjoying was from a broken water pipe that was seeping through the cracks in the pavement.
After I saw him I imagined what it might feel like to take off my shoes, roll up my pants & feel the cool water on my skin & the textured pavement under my bare feet. I was thinking it must feel heavenly, a stark contrast to what I was feeling at that moment jogging in my black sweat pants, lace-up sneakers & cotton socks on a summer day. (Don’t ask! – OK, fine. Yes, I was hot & miserable jogging in that stuffy outfit.) I thought about how it might feel to be spontaneous & to live fully in the moment: maybe the man in the puddle was hot from the summer temperature & he was tired from walking & visiting the museum, maybe the broken water-pipe in a shady park was the perfect blessing & the perfect balance to his day, an ideal moment to explore – how fun! …But how many of those have I missed? And why would I not join him in the blissful moment that he was aware enough to catch (or create)? Could it be a fear of looking silly? Fear of connecting with a stranger? Fear of “stopping” my day to surrender to the moment? I’m not sure which one it was, but it is definitely one of them – or all of them!
My days & my life are FULL of bliss, full of spontaneous blessings & celebratory moments, but do I catch them as he caught his? In order to experience these moments I have to be open to them. I have to notice them & I have to appreciate them. Before I saw him wading in the water I ran past that big puddle 4 times as I was looping the park. I thought the running water sounded lovely & the glistening movement of the puddle & leaves looked beautiful, but not enough to make me stop. Not enough to make contact with it or fully acknowledge it.
The playful wind, the pouring rain, the sound of silence, the laugh of a child, the shade under a tree, the color of leaves, the feeling of sweat on my skin, or the feeling of exhaling fully – how many of these have I passed by & not acknowledged & for how many years? Imagine what it would be like to experience these moments fully? When was the last time you exhaled fully & really felt what a blessing & beautiful experience it was? – Bliss, I tell you, bliss! It’s at our finger tips.