For the first time in my life, I am much closer to nature. Outside of the window where I am temporarily staying, I can hear all types of birds chirp a daily chorus. These sounds were alien to me a few weeks ago and now, each morning I slide open the terrace door to hear and feel the morning.
When evening starts to claim the day, I often walk about five minutes to the Mediterranean Sea and I stay to watch the most amazing light show that only nature can provide as the sun slowly sets behind the mountains along Spain’s most southern coast.
And, if the night is clear and the humidity is low, I can cast my eye in the distance and see the Rock of Gibralter and as I scan the horizon a little more, I am able to see the mountains of Morocco, beckoning me to one day visit and proceed through this gateway into Africa.
Having spent my entire life, including vacations, in cities, there are those moments when I am ready to go back to a large city where I feel most at home. It doesn’t matter which city it is: New York, London, Paris or Athens. I love them all. I feel comfortable in each of them. It takes work to stay connected in my new surroundings, but this is an opportunity for growth and one of the ways that I have found works in helping me stay at ease is just appreciating the grandeur and elegant simplicity of a very vibrant nature.
When one sees a magnificent sunset, it never gets old. Going back again the next day to see how the colors slowly change affords the ability to watch each dramatic sunset take hold across the horizon and understand something new and different that you did not catch the evening before. It is a progressive work of art that is never exactly the same as when you saw it last.
And, as I have winded my way through a fourth country in little over a year, it has dawned on me that I have learned something. As I look back and reflect on the road that I have traveled and the moments in between, I have come to realize that I have finally started to accept being in the present. I call it “living in the is”.
Merriam-Webster defines “is” as “be”. What I have come to realize is that no matter how much sound and fury has gone on in my life, no matter the chaos, when I stop to listen, look and feel, what will be, will be. What is, is.
I am finding it almost comical for me to think that I can greatly change the outcome of things or circumstances with sheer force of will and determination. That’s not the way the world works.
Really, I can only change my own thinking and perspective about how things are going to play out – a lot of which I don’t have much or any direct control. I can only do the best that I can, perhaps hope for the best, but ultimately, accept whatever it is that will happen.
And, with the realization that the only thing I really have in my control is how I think, what I see, taste, hear, touch and feel, I am finally coming to understand what living in the present, or in the is, is all about. I am understanding what it is to be. It is not some great piece of wisdom that has finally enlightened me. It is simply seeing things happening and recognizing that no matter what I said or did, they were going to turn out the way they were going to turn out.
And, it is recognizing that the only power I really have is within myself. Seeing nature so close to me after living in a concrete jungle for the entirety of my life, I am finally learning the lesson that I just need to take it easy and accept things as they evolve by making a choice in how I choose to perceive circumstances. Ultimately, it means being very present and accepting of what is.
Posted: September 18, 2014
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