Some days are harder than others to wake up and feel positive and hopeful. Today was one of those days. Before I went to sleep last night, I had read an article about the impact of climate change and fossil fuels. It stayed with me throughout the night and made me feel like the world is dying. The impacts of climate change are here, now. We are seeing it in our own backyard. But, it’s not just climate change. Political wars and power grabs are everywhere. Unbending ideologies are tearing families and communities and countries apart. People are hungry, sick, poor, angry, afraid, hurting. Species are dying out at unprecedented rates. Our financial systems and economies are based on abstract values, smoke and mirrors, and power is concentrated in the hands of a few. Everyone I know is dealing with some kind of challenge. Our kids cannot envision any decent future for themselves or generations beyond their own.
My heart hurts. My mind spirals into sadness and hopelessness. As I think out loud about all the terrible things that could happen in our lives, Mr. Endlessseeker reminds me how quickly my mind spirals into the abyss of negativity and brings me back to appreciating this moment.
Indeed, today I was able to get up and make a cup of tea and sit on my front porch to watch the sun rise over the treetops. So, I stop in this one moment and remember that this is all there is. I do not know what the next moment will bring. But I have a choice in this one, to be present – to listen to the yellow-billed cuckoo calling, the chortle of bluebirds, the coo of the mourning dove, to watch the bees on the hyssop, the sun shining on my teacup, the hummingbird sipping from honeysuckle flowers, to feel the cool stone under my bare feet and the warm tea on my lips.
I know I am lucky, privileged, insulated in many ways from the ravages of the world. I also know that could all change in the blink of an eye. Whether we are in a war zone, a flood zone, or sitting on our porch sipping tea, we are all living on the edge, standing on a ledge, balancing our lives on a knife blade held by unsteady hands. The only control we have is how we choose to view the world from this vantage point and how we choose to respond to it.