Tonight was a very typical summer Sunday evening at home. There were the typical thoughts and very typical chores.
The usual questions churned: Am I ready for the work day tomorrow? How am I going to fit in that conference call on Tuesday afternoon? Who is driving our son to daycare this week?
As I unrolled the hose to water our little raised gardens in our little back yard behind our little old downtown bungalow, I had one of those rare moments of clarity – one of those moments where the present comes into extreme focus with little or no intentional prompting.
I thought about unraveling the hose, and as I set the nozzle on shower and let the water spray onto the haphazardly planted tomato and pepper starter plants, I watched it land lightly on the leaves and drip down to the soil – the dry cracks dissolving and filling in with soil.
I looked over at my two adopted, at first rejected, dogs – one laying in what was left of the sun and the other digging the dirt up in the flower garden against the house… that I have filled in a dozen times…argh…Lily!
I also heard my 6-month old son let out a faint cry in the house and my wife walking about, the clanking of dishes in the sink.
Those questions about the future were devoured by the present moment. All of the potential futures were no match for this typical, present, moment.
And what a moment. I realized that all around me was life. In this little lot we bought after we were married from the small savings fund I built painting houses in college, we had built a little plot of life.
It is our own little piece of this Earth and the one I was occupying in the most important moment of my life: the present one.
As I snapped back to thinking about my upcoming week and those nagging, superfluous questions about a future that doesn’t yet exist – the present moment seemed much more appealing.
No future salary or job could ever replace this moment – in fact, nothing in the future can ever replace the present.
Contentment, I found while watering in the garden, is always in the guaranteed moment in front of us. It has to be.
Take careful note.
Our definitions of success have become so warped by external expectations and human definitions, that we don’t even know where we are, what we are doing, and what we have accomplished right now.
Maybe success, and the happiness that advertisements tell us come with it, is really found in our own small, little gardens – the life in our little corner of the Earth. Maybe we can find success by focusing intently at tending, cultivating, and caring for, to the best of our ability, our little plots of Earth, wherever they may be in the present moment.
That is a start – and most likely the ends.