A Full & Temporary Life

My husband just returned from several weeks of traveling overseas for business. It was sometimes a challenge to connect by computer video call or telephone due to the time differences. But we managed to succeed. The brief video calls we shared, so filled with laughter and love, will always be part of my memory. I discovered that, even during bouts of loneliness, I could function and even be happy in this temporary single life.

The thing is, you can’t catch up on the time apart. It’s in the past…spent…gone. What you CAN do is appreciate every moment in the NOW…the present and active experience in which you find yourself.

So I took the opportunity to visit my son and his family in another state – road trip – bringing with me my daughter and her children. The family gathering of siblings and grandchildren, dogs and air mattresses, preparing evening meals and impromptu fun activities with the kids, brought with the chaos a memory of my own childhood and a large family. I felt comfortable in the chaos and activity of multiple lives all buzzing around in one house. However, we all agreed and appreciated that this was only a temporary living arrangement; not one that we wanted to reinstate.

The day before my husband’s return home I had the pleasure of visiting with two of my dear and long-time friends, spending several hours with each of them in turn. One travels often for business; the other will soon be moving to another state. It wasn’t that we needed to catch up on each other’s lives or relive days gone by; it was more a time to go deeper into life’s meanings, challenges, and sharing solutions to problems that we’d discovered or found helpful. Spending time together like this is a temporary experience to be savored in the present moment.

All life is temporary. Each experience…idea…job…home…relationship…your body… season…a moment of connection…is either evolving into something deeper or transitioning, coming and going in cycles through a lifetime. Even our memories of the experiences are temporary and often uncertain. The other person may not get that same sentiment from the same physical experience. Yet, at the soul level, somewhere deep within each of us, we have connected in consciousness, in that moment.

My memory is important only to me; yours to you…yet we often want to hold on and relive it in our minds or try to recapture or re-enact the experience. It’s never the same, not really. Time has passed; it’s over. Living in the past robs us of real present-moment experiences or appreciating a significant and meaningful future.

This NOW, this temporary moment, this present experience is where our attention is needed. It’s all we have. It’s where we create the life we live. If we can pay attention, be mindful, of what is before us, we will live with such fullness that loneliness or separation will find no room in our heart or mind. Instead, we will be filled with the contentment of a lifetime of joyful experiences; each one fully appreciated, fully lived, and fully loved.

Afternoon Delight

There was once a popular song entitled “Afternoon Delight.” While this writing is not about the lyrics of that song, recent activities have brought up for me the joy of living and the gratitude of being… which are best described by the word “delight.” Perhaps you can relate.

Things That Bring Me Delight

  • Recently I shared a swing set with one of my granddaughters. As we traveled back and forth in the wind, pushing our feet to and fro to go ever higher and higher, the little girl inside me was giddy with delight.  I remembered how much I always loved to swing.
  • Earlier in the week I completed the formatting for a new curriculum version of a class I just began teaching, and am thrilled with the depth and richness it offers my students.
  • Today, an old but working kitchen stove was picked up and taken away after sitting for days in the driveway with a “free” sign on it.
  • My almost-new dog is teaching me how she plays keep-away and tug-of-war with her toys. I got to buy new ones to replace the ones we’re wearing out.
  • I’m always ecstatic when I prepare my Sunday message or these blog writings and end up with more material than I need to use.
  • At bedtime I enjoy reading a book, checking up on my social media site to see what my “friends” are doing, then shutting off all the technology and cuddling up with my husband before dropping off to sleep. The routine makes me smile.
  • And on those mornings, when I get on the bathroom scale weighing slightly less than I did the day before, I’m very delighted with my progress.

Delight contains many aspects and emotions, but not necessarily all at the same time. Delight is joy and happiness… love… gratitude and appreciation… a now-moment experience… content­ment… peace… laughter. What I have found is that the more I recognize this feeling of delight, the more I find it. It shows up everywhere! It’s also very addicting.

I love this feeling of being so much in the “now” that life is totally fulfilling, no matter what is going on. By being so completely aware of what is happening right here, right now, my activity feels complete… as I’m experiencing it. There’s no concern about what’s going to happen next because this moment isn’t done yet. I’m not making any plans for the next project because I’m having fun with this one. And when other people are involved and we’re totally focused on whatever we’re doing, it deepens our relationship… creates a memory… strengthens our bond… and further clarifies our purpose in each other’s lives.

It’s a way to experience the full and loving presence of the Divine… live lightly… delightfully! Grab those moments; hold them for just a few seconds longer. Learn to really appreciate Life!

What brings you delight?


I’m in the midst of a countdown list of things to do as I prepare for a mini-vacation with family…I will be with my children and all my grandchildren for the first time ever!

While we all maintain contact through various technologies on at least a weekly basis, we definitely look forward to the face-to-face visits with great enthusiasm. At the same time…between all the pre-vacation preparations, the long days of driving to another state, and the fact that I really love my home, I sometimes find it difficult to make the journey. Yet, I’m always glad that I do. The connection we have as a family is stronger than any excuse not to go.

It takes time and energy to maintain quality relationships, whether it’s with your spouse, children, extended family, friends or groups in which a person is involved (such as church, work, hobbies, etc.). Oftentimes, and sadly, relationships can deteriorate and even fade away just from the lack of attention they so desperately need.

One of the best pieces of advice I ever received about relationships is that they need to be fed. For example, in a marriage, both individuals need to contribute love, time, energy and respect (plus more!) in order for this vital union to survive. Both people need to contribute to the connection they share. It’s like a three-legged stool. It’s necessary to think of the relationship as a living entity, one of the legs, and the two people involved as the other two legs. Such a stool will never stand on its own with only one individual trying to make it work. A two-legged stool will never stand.

The same is true for ANY relationship to survive…parent and child, friendships, employer and employee, client and customer, or whatever. We must take the time to nourish the bonds that connect us…if we want them to continue.

I find it interesting to observe and be part of the evolution of a relationship. They’re precious no matter how long they last; the memory of a special connection can live in our memories forever. I get a warm, fuzzy feeling when I notice the seeds of a friendship taking root amongst members of our congregation. I melt in the love of a grandchild’s hug. A text from my adult children can turn into a laughing fest. An international phone call from my husband any time of the day or night is a testament to our long-term commitment. By whatever means available, making an effort to stay connected to the ones you care about deepens the joy of living…it helps to balance the three-legged stool…and turn it into a large and comfortable recliner.

I believe and teach that what you think, say and do is returned in some manner to you. How beautiful life is when those seeds of love and friendship are sowed with all you know and returned exponentially from many directions. There is no end to the Good…to the Love. Why not share it abundantly as often as you can!  See you after my trip.

After Life…Comes Peace

I may have captured a glimpse of what the “after life” looks like. No, I didn’t die and come back from the grave. This new perspective actually took place late one evening in my back yard. With it came a rush of peace and calm, recognized but not experienced for quite awhile.

As our small dog bounded from one shadowed bush to another in the full moonlight glow, sniffing for prey, I sat watching her, observing the scene before me, and listening. The gentle breeze rustled leaves and swayed branches of the nearby willow tree. Stars seemed oddly misplaced. The wooden furniture and lawn decorations reflected a glow below the giant white orb in the sky. I can only describe it as a gray light, revealing earthbound objects with dark lines and soft, eerie shapes, as well as identifying the whereabouts of a small dog and scurrying rabbits. Then I noticed the peace.

A calm contentment filled every cell of my being. “This is it,” I mused. “This is what the ‘after-life’ is like.” After the busyness of the day. After the chaos of a longed-for event. After being with many people and their life’s challenges…and mine…this is what final rest must be like. I wondered if after my tired body is no longer needed, perhaps my spirit, my soul, becomes part of this gray light, filling the night with peace simply by being the light. 

I enjoyed my few moments alone in the shimmering shadows. I also happily shared this insight with my husband as he sat down beside me on our wooden bench. As we sat there and shared the final remnants of this late evening moment, I envisioned the two of us together, still holding hands of eternal love and our souls melting together into the silence of the gray light. And I smiled.