Present | June 2022.

A few weeks ago, I listened to Shauna Niequist narrate I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet (Goodreads link); I loved the book, and highlighted a few dozen quotations. These words especially resonated with this year’s OLW

[a] wise friend of mine says that true spiritual maturity is nothing more—and nothing less—than consenting to reality. Hello to here—not what you wanted or longed for or lost, not what you hope for or imagine. Reality. This here. This now.

That “hello to here” reminded me of Pádraig Ó Tuama’s brilliant In the Shelter (Goodreads link); the opening chapter is titled “Hello to here”. It’s a whole course in Present and I’ve turned again and again to those pages this month. I suspect I need to simply keep them on repeat for at least the next few months; and this closing paragraph

It has taken years to continue to live into the truth that if I believe we are from God and for God, then we are from Goodness and for Goodness. To greet sorrow today does not mean that sorrow will be there tomorrow. Happiness comes too, and grief, and tiredness, disappointment, surprise, and energy. Chaos and fulfillment will be named as well as delight and despair. This is the truth of being here, wherever here is today. It may not be permanent but it is here. I will probably leave here, and I will probably return. To deny here is to harrow the heart.
Hello to here.

is wisdom for a lifetime. most certainly for right now. That bit about “probably returning” speaks a hard and difficult truth.

Tying all of this back to last month (when I wrote about wanting to embrace the possibilities of the present), I’ve once again embraced my solo morning walks to the lake. Seeing the early sun shining across the water at the midpoint of a three-mile walk is my new (old) favorite way to begin the day. This morning, I ventured off the path and picked my way across the rocks that lead to the water’s edge. Sunlight glistening off dew-soaked roses greeted me.

Hello to here.

As always, I’m grateful to Carolyn for hosting these monthly check-ins, and to each of you for reading and being part of my story. Thank you.

12 thoughts on “Present | June 2022.

  1. This might sound crazy–but I felt so engaged in, so present in your post, Mary, that I swear I smelled the scent of rose!!??!!
    And how good to have found something, a tool, of sorts, to put ‘on repeat.’

  2. Those roses and that lake will keep you present! (I do want to come deadhead those roses so they produce some more blossoms. 🙂 )

  3. I love your quotes, especially about consenting to reality. I think that sums up what I’m hoping to internalize with my year of surrendering.

    And I love that you left your beaten path and welcomed a slightly new perspective. Those roses have thorns and still offer such beauty.

    Lovely post and reflections, as always. ❤️

  4. I try every day to be ‘presen’t in all I do, and sometimes I achieve it here and there. I love the photos and the words you paired together 🙂

  5. Thank you, Mary, for the lovely photos and words that remind us to stay grounded in the present.

  6. What a beautiful post Mary. Hard truths indeed. Sometimes I think roses are a gentle reminder that life comes with both beauty and pain.

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