Flavor of the Moment

Flavor of the Moment

Today is. (Gratitude.) The planet spins easterly and the sun appears on the horizon. (Punctual. Promising. Provided.) Dew lies on the elm leaves. (Ephemeral. Shiny.) Only one gust of breeze, so far, riffles the green as I watch. (Uncertainty.)

The floor chills the soles of my feet. I am warm from sleep. (Contrast.) Muscles lift to stretch without me thinking: it would do me good to stretch this not-so-young body. (Benefit of habit.)

Oops, forgot to insert another t.p. roll last night. (Growl. Unexpected consequences.) My fingers comb back the soft, gray hair and tuck the wisps behind my ears. I catch sight of cheek wrinkles and smile into the mirror anyway. (Tempus fugit. Acceptance.)

Coffee smells better than it tastes. (Reality. Recurring death of illusion.) Bananas balance between firm and soft and taste like nothing else. (Recognition.) The Chron arrives on time. The Jumble stumps me for a bit. (Comfort of ritual. Sweet success.) I draw a Medicine Card to guide the day. (Choice. Listening. Trust.)

Both cats come purring. (Comfort. Joy.) I open the curtains and the cats curl up in the sunshine. (Entitlement.) The phone rings. (Connection. Community.) I pitch out the old roses on the table, deadhead the bushes in the front yard, and gather 14 buds partially opened. (A season for everything. . .)

I decide which vases to use and how many bouquets to make. (Discrimination.) I trim off leaves that would be underwater and recut the stem. (Preparation.) The dark reds and the peach roses sing together in point/counterpoint. (Vibrations in my heart chakra.) Maybe I’ll leave the green glass bowl full of water, no posies. Is there anything as exquisite as water in glass? (Stillness. Breath.)

They call me the dead-roses lady. (The affection of gallows humor.) I’ve outlived a prognosis by 13 years. (Awe.) Yes, my clippers and I snip off spent blooms. No rose hips allowed to sap the plants’ energy for new growth and new buds. (Attention. Intention.)

Did you know the two cardinal rules for pruning a rosebush match some good advice for maintaining a spiritual life? (Serendipity.)

1. Open up the center to make room for air and spirit, clear away debris for the unseen. (Letting go. Spaciousness.)

2. Cut down the stem to an outside bud, so new growth reaches out beyond its previous scope and roots. (Form. Function.)

I wipe the dust off the coffee table. Life is moving one thing to another place. (Persistence.) The blue cylinder of glass holds jaunty roses poked into dark, pointy leaves of jasmine. This is a smile by another name. (Satisfaction. Sweetness.) I carry the bouquet from the messy kitchen into the calm of the living room. (Fitting.)

If I don’t give thanks in the moment, there is more than I can remember by the time I turn off the bedside light. Who knows what the night will bring?

Nancy McKay is a spiritual director in the progressive Christian tradition. She works with the hope of a feminine and masculine balance in life and faith. West Berkeley has been her home for 47 years.

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Faces of the East Bay