Monday, May 17, 2010

the art of attention, the fading of memories

Life's most precious moments seem to
pass so quickly.
In the blink of an eye things change. No two moments are the same.
There are many teachings that encourage us
to stay in the present because that is
where living actually happens.
Oftentimes we vacillate between residing in the past
or spring boarding off into the future, neglecting what is really happening
in the now as a result.
Nature provides lessons along these lines.
In the life of a gardener there is a
constant pull toward the future.
We daydream and plan and imagine what it will be like
when our plans come to fruition.
We see infinite possibilities,
always looking toward what could be. The same is true
with a renovator/decorator/restorer of houses.
We look at something and see it as it could become
with hard work and resourcefulness.
This is all part of the fun
of the process of tending to spaces, both indoor and outdoor.
But once in awhile we must take the time
to stop and celebrate the beauty
that comprises our present reality. In doing this,
we cannot help but cultivate a sense of gratitude for what is.
Gratitude is at the root of all spiritual practices,
a common denominator among all traditions.
That bucketful of peonies
gleaned from my neighbor's farm
is now gone,
their blooms and fragrance,
a faded memory.
I had filled pitchers and containers of peony blossoms and placed them
all around the house.
They adorned nearly every available surface.
When I walked into a room,
I encountered that heady fragrance,
and sometimes it nearly
knocked my socks off.
Now, all the blossoms have faded.
The containers have been washed and put back in their rightful places.
The memory lingers
simply because I focused my attention
on the moments I lived with their grace in my house.
Paying attention has allowed me
to carry that memory in my heart.
I paid homage to their loveliness each time I was reminded of their presence,
and now I pay homage by celebrating the memory.
For this I am grateful.
I encourage you to cultivate some mindfulness
of the grace and beauty in your own life.
Your memory and peace of mind will thank you for it.
Until next time...


  1. What beautiful thoughts Anne. I am working on my mindfulness--it isn't easy! Your peonies were beautiful.

  2. dearest anne,

    what a beautiful post again.

    i, too am on the path of searching for the middle way. i am learning to live in the moment. some days it is not as easy as others. REAL life intrudes and pulls me. i'm learning, slowly to resist the temptation and just be grateful for the moment i'm in. thank you for your beautiful words today.


  3. Ah, Anne, the peonies may be gone but, as you say, the memory lingers on. It is so important that we take stock sometimes and appreciate everything around us in the here and now.
    Thanks for the reminder Anne. XXXX

  4. Hello Anne, what a lovely post! The peonies, the memories, and the best of all, living the present moment...
    Enjoy your week with peace and love,
    :) Li

  5. Anne, Good Morning, I just read your thoughtful comments that you left for Janet at the Gardener's Cottage and had to visit you. There are really very few blogs that truly inspire me and move me and I feel blessed to have now found yours. Your writing, photography and philosophy to how view life and the moments we have, are simply beautiful. I very much enjoyed reading and contemplating everything that you've said ~ you've put into words exactly what I think and how I choose to live.
    You have a beautiful seems very welcoming and warm. I look forward to following and learning more ~
    Have a lovely day!

  6. I wish we could grow peonies here...I've never seen them...too hot, I think. I believe they would be my second favorite flower, after the rose, if I could.


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