We are human, not robots. So, we all do it to some degree or another. We reflect on seminal moments that have passed rather than living in the present.
In my case, that means occasionally remembering the full moon, which dominated the January horizon the morning my mother died in 2013.
Or–further back in my psyche–the sweet scent of magnolia blossoms, emerging in late March on the front lawn of my suburban St. Louis childhood home. Often, mother nature tricked them with an early April frost that turned the pink petals brown.
Oddly, when we aren’t contemplating the past, many of us focus on the future. We anticipate significant events–personal and social–that approach.
We ponder pressing issues ahead, such as paying the rent or mortgage when it comes due at the end of the month, speculating on the latest batch of troublesome news on the world stage, or waiting impatiently for medical test results.
Though I am a memoir writer–and soon-to-be-published poet (stay tuned)–once-unforeseen yoga sessions (which I now practice frequently on the aqua mat of my sixties) teach me that I am better off focusing on the space in between the memories and the what ifs.
It is the breathing in and out that keeps me whole as I write this sentence on the keys of my laptop. It is the random chirping punctuating my afternoon in the palm tree outside my back door.
It is the rushing water of life, which currently swooshes through the normally dry Salt River gulch in Tempe, thanks to frequent rains in the Valley of the Sun and melting snow from Arizona’s high country.
At this moment in time, I need to remind myself that it is all of these things–happening now–that make life rewarding and meaningful on an otherwise gauzy Wednesday in March.