“You can move through life seeing nothing as a miracle or seeing everything as a miracle.”
It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. I wonder how our age will be remembered in the future? Some will say we lived in a really f-ed up time, a time of seeming dichotomous ascent and descent. Open your tablet or mobile device or turn on your television at any time of day or night and you’re bombarded with stories of just how f-ed up humans can be and the f-ed up things we’re doing to our planet and each other. Sure, everyone tries to wrap things up with an big-red-bow inspirational story that gives us hope, but the ratio of bad news to good news is about the same as the probability of a toddler putting something or everything in his/her mouth. The news can be utterly distressing to both mind and body. I get so riled up sometimes that hubs actually insists that I hand over the remote or device, ignore the outside world and exist in my own little bubble for a while. That strategy doesn’t really work for someone trying to remain a culturally literate and active citizen, up to date with the current state of the union or world, but I can do it (or pretend to) for a short while to appease him.
My dear mother had much to be distressed about in her final years. An auto-immune/degenerative muscle disease had claimed her body and rendered her increasingly immobile. The woman who always thrived on being useful, going, doing, making, giving and helping became exceedingly helpless and at the mercy of others to care for her basic needs. Her mobility and eventually much of her dignity, were stolen together. But about that she NEVER complained. In fact she complained very little about anything (except the abundance of horrible and tragic news that the media outlets flood us with) when she honestly had a hundred more valid reasons to than most. She had a knack for looking at the bright side, noticing the light wherever it shown, pointing out the small speck of beauty wherever it revealed itself. She collected those fleeting moments, those tiny motes, and chose to focus on them as miniature miracles that allowed her enough joy to carry herself through each day and into all of the tomorrows she was allotted. She focused on connections with others and those who knew her will tell you that there never was a better friend, sister, daughter, mother, grandmother etc. In her final years especially, she treasured those relationships like precious jewels and saw mini miracles in every interaction and in every life.
I strive to remember the way she did that. I start by frequently reminding myself that our lives are carried out at precarious angles on a gigantic sphere that’s floating in space and somehow (through a miracle called gravity) we and all that we’ve created doesn’t fall off. I’d say that qualifies as a pretty huge miracle. Our technology allows us to communicate face to face with someone on the other side of our world almost instantaneously. Although my brain can’t even begin to synthesize how that occurs, I’d say it certainly meets the criteria for a miracle. Got knowledge? Well yes we do! Apparently an unquantifiable amount is floating out there in cyber space and invisible powers named Google and Siri enjoy playing fetch and return it to us at miraculous speeds. More miracles. How about the fact that we make more human beings inside our bodies? The fruits of our wombs, all of us, are ultimately creative miracles. And when we consider the multitude of things that “could” go wrong, having a healthy baby is certainly a miracle. That synchronistic moment, that unexpected blessing, that lifeboat that appeared at just the right time, the fact that your infant slept through the night or your toddler took a nap, or that all the traffic lights were green, all miracles. And on occasion, just making it through the day without throat punching someone is a true miracle.
If we simply take the time to be more fully present and aware in the moments of our lives, I believe we’ll start noticing that miracles are everywhere. Even in the midst of the f-ed up, the ugly and evil, there is light, waiting for us to recognize it, lift it up and allow it to illuminate the darkness of the world. It’s really up to us to light up our lives, to pay attention to the tiny miracles we experience each day. To have gratitude. To spread joy and counterbalance the ugly parts of our existence. Einstein was right. I’m choosing everything.
Peace and Love