Monday, July 06, 2009
SWB: Dozing off with bread in hand
After a sun-filled, activity filled holiday weekend I came home and plopped myself down on the sofa in our living room. Within a few minutes I was out cold and snoring away.
It's not very often that I find myself waking up on the sofa, to find it to be the morning after. Usually I can get comfy for a cat nap, but this time around I was totally surprised to find myself still wrapped up in a blanket hearing the morning birds chirping away.
Uncharacteristically dozing off on the sofa reminded me of the beginnings of the idea of "sleeping with bread". Bread was given to displaced children during WW2 to help them to sleep knowing, "Today I have bread, and I will have bread tomorrow."
Last night I think I better understood the contentment of these war ravaged children, as all weekend long I made great attempts to live in the now - not looking back to the past or forward to the future, but living and soaking up all the present offered me.
I'm working on being intentional in living in the now.
All of this "now living" was brought to my attention to me by my drummer friend Rich. He mentioned to me on Friday evening before we went on to play for the opening of the new coffee house in Warren, Pa (The Crossing), " Just look around this lovely room. So often people will look to the past or future for the things they think will make them content and miss the things right under their nose that are beautiful. Look at this room, it has beautiful wood work, a fireplace... "And lilies in an old vase on that round conference table." I interjected.
So though the music set that night, I sang every note from my heart - as I always try to do - but I looked at the faces that were listening. There was a woman joyfully clapping, some teens dancing while seated in chairs in front of the stage, and a tough looking young man smiled at me with a toothy grin when I smiled at him.
I tried to live in the moment... at a late dinner at Perkins with my daughter and her friends that night and learned more about her friends lives, because I asked, and when I returned to the venue at the end of the night to find a school mate I hadn't seen in 20 years who had stopped by to see me. We chatted about the past, what our plans were for the future, but mostly were happy to re-connect in the present.
All weekend there were moments that sparkle to me: the beauty of the Pennsylvania hills, the quaint small town 4th of July parade that makes the sidewalks and streets bulge with hundreds of people, their kids and pets. Swimming with giggling kids in the 4 foot pool, preparing meals, and reading a book in bed while listening to the rest of the family waking up to celebrate the morning with coffee and cereal.
There were present moments that provided challenge, like a rock hitting our parked car's drivers side window and shattering glass all over the driveway at my mother-in-laws house. We got out the shop vac, sucked up all the glitter safety glass, and then I realized that I'd wanted to vac out the car anyhow.
After the mess was cleaned up and the insurance company called and repairs planned for the following day, we ate lemon dessert, drank icy cokes and played scrabble in the dusk of the day.
I lived in the present,I held onto the bread, and I even saw some beauty in crumbles of glass reflecting prisms all over the inside of my car. Funny how beauty can sneak up on you when you open your eyes to see it.