Elisabeth Kubler Ross, author of many books on death and dying wrote, "It's only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth - and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up, we will then begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had."
Why do we wait until we have some bad news, or a life changing experience before we fully engage with life? Why does our own mortality come as a surprise to us? We all know our lives are a tiny, transient chapter - we may come back to this earth in a different body, or we may not. Whatever our beliefs THIS is where we are NOW!
So today I'm at Andrew's house in Perthshire. I'm sitting outside on a bench in his garden, bundled up in warm clothes writing with my favourite pen in "my blog" book.
It's a bright, sunny day and I can hear some dried leaves moving across the tarmac drive in the cool, gentle breeze.
There are blue tits and blackbirds in the trees and bushes. Occasionally venturing down onto the ground for seeds, and in the case of the blackbird, a rummage through the fallen sycamore leaves in the search for grubs and worms.
My son Charlie is with his Dad a few miles away. My girls are in England living their own lives.
The only thing I know, the only thing I can be completely sure of is that I am here - writing, and using all my senses to be here. Observing and absorbing all that is around me now, and with that comes a sense of serenity and peacefulness which is attainable at any time.
All it takes is for us to notice the moment we lose that connectedness with the moment we're in. Think STOP! Breathe consciously then engage all our senses in NOW!
It is exhausting staying in a split, separated state.
Why waste energy wondering and speculating what MIGHT happen tomorrow, or what other people MIGHT be doing right now.
The sun is warm on my face, there is a cool breeze. A rook is cawing perched high up in the sycamore tree - this is all I know to be true.
"Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won't)." - James Baraz.