Daily Riches: Attending to and Living In the Present Moment (Jane Kenyon, Alan Wilson Watts & Cynthia Bourgeault) *

“I got out of bed on two strong legs.
It might have been otherwise.
I ate cereal, sweet milk, ripe, flawless peach.
It might have been otherwise.
I took the dog uphill to the birch wood.
All morning I did the work I love.
At noon I lay down with my mate.
It might have been otherwise.
We ate dinner together at a table with silver candlesticks.
It might have been otherwise.
I slept in a bed in a room with paintings on the walls,
and planned another day just like this day.
But one day, I know, it will be otherwise.”
Jane Kenyon
(Jane Kenyon died from leukemia on April 22, 1995)

“We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized by the illusion of time, in which the so-called present moment is felt as nothing but an infinitesimal hairline between an all-powerfully causative past and an absorbingly important future. We have no present. Our consciousness is almost completely preoccupied with memory and expectation. We do not realize that there never was, is, nor will be any other experience than present experience. We are therefore out of touch with reality.” Alan Wilson Watts

“The spiritual life can only be lived in the present moment, in the now. All the great religious traditions insist upon this simple but difficult truth. When we go rushing ahead into the future or shrinking back into the past, we miss the hand of God, which can only touch us in the now.” Cynthia Bourgeault

” … you do not know what a day may bring forth.” Proverbs 27:1b
“This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Are you approaching today as if you know “what it may bring forth” – planning, controlling, sucking it up, sleep-walking through it? Does your answer reveal someone who is “out of touch with reality?”
  • What’s happening to you now? Are you opening your heart to God?  relaxing in God’s unconditional acceptance of you? experiencing a rootedness that will inform your day?
  • Might not such a present moment be the most important of the day – the most real, most formative, most strategic? Imagine being oblivious to it due to what seemed an “all-powerfully causative past [or] an absorbingly important future.”

Abba, today may my soul be “as light as a feather, as fluid as water, simple as a child, as easily moved as a ball, so as to receive and follow all the impressions of grace.” (J. P. de Caussade)


For More: Collected Poems by Jane Kenyon


These Daily Riches are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day in 400 words or less. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others as we seek to find our satisfaction in our unfailingly loving God. (Psalm 90:14) I appreciate your interest! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)