To paraphrase the great Hall of Famer, Yogi Berra, “it was getting late early.”
This is what I felt this morning as the sun rose from above the neighboring homes and the full, plentiful trees.
Shea, my almost 3-year old daughter, was cuddled in my arms, resting her recently opened eyes against my chest.
The clock moved quicker than usual, and my mind started to race. The many tasks waited on the other side of that front door, but Shea was in no rush to let me check off any of those items.
I stared to my right where two new spirituality books rested from the night prior. As Shea watched her morning television show, I was tempted to grab the book with my free hand to nourish my soul.
Something, most likely my inner-Spirit, urged me to resist. Instead, I held Shea a little tighter recognizing that she was all that I needed in that moment.
I smelt her curly blond hair, fresh from the shower the night before. I kissed her forehead which featured a small bump courtesy of a recent tumble. I grabbed her small hand in mine and squeezed it three times, whispering “I-love-you.”
As these minutes melted together, I started to wonder if she was not feeling well. I felt her cheek but it was cool, as was her head.
“Shea, how are you feeling,” I asked, relieved that a fever wasn’t brewing.
“Happy,” she responded with an accompanying smile.
“I am happy too,” I said with a matching smile, an overjoyed heart, all while being wrapped even more around her little finger.
Eventually we emerged from the couch, ate some breakfast, packed our bags, and started to check off the many to-do’s of the day.
I find myself thinking of that encounter often this day.
In this recent memory, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the gift of my daughter. She is so special, an absolute miracle.
I cannot help but wonder what our world would be like if we all saw one another with this same appreciation.
I cannot help but wonder what our lives would be like if we truly believed that God saw us this way too.
I also have to wonder what my life could be if I avoided all of the distractions, all of the worry, all of the fear of the unknown, and simply was just present to the gifts before me.
As author and spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle wisely said, “It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual life opens up.”
As I attempt to better live in appreciation for the present moment, I am also holding on to the memory of this morning as I know there will be a day when she holds my hand no longer, a day when her response to my question will be different, and a day when she will be looking to get on with her tasks instead of just resting in my presence.
While there are many challenges, many areas of struggle and room for growth in my life, I can say with full gratitude and appreciation that because of this little girl, and for so many other relationships and blessings, that like my Shea, I am happy too.