"Stay present: every second, every minute, and every hour. Every day of your life is full of present moments of infinite value." - Dr. Wayne Dyer
This morning, I experienced the most intense riverside sunrise in a long time. When my alarm chimes in the morning, the sky over the river is the first thing I see when I step out of bed. Next to the window that offers this view is a framed and matted print of the great blue heron I play hide and seek with on the river. This morning, through eyes still heavy with sleep, I saw a streak of cotton candy pink in the sky above thick, dancing mist and knew it was about to be extraordinary. I was on the dock with my camera and tripod within in a minute.
I must have sat at the end of the dock photographing the sunrise mist for a good 15 minutes with the mist dancing and lifting all around me before I noticed lights moving up the river toward me.
I exclaimed softly out loud, "Yes! It might be more interesting with something moving through the photo!" Just then, the great blue heron who had been very close to me (although I'd not noticed) lifted into flight and did just that. (Notice the small, dark figure at the center of the photo below.)
I am constantly looking for the great blue heron on the river. And there it was all that time, so close. I didn't notice because I was focused on something else: the mist formations reflected symmetrically by the water when I faced north. But not noticing the heron doesn't mean it wasn't there.
I've been thinking a lot lately about opportunities missed due to a lack of mindfulness.
Nearly two weeks ago, it was 100% within my power to meet my favorite band, America, but I blew that opportunity as well because I was not paying attention at a critical moment. A man right in front of me began handing out bright yellow "Meet and Greet" passes when I was fiddling with my gear, and when I looked up and realized what was going on, it was too late; he had moved on, and I couldn't leave my gear unattended to catch up with him. When my husband returned to our seats, I was pouting and told him what had happened. By that time, the man had returned to the stage area, and my husband asked him if he had just one more pass because I wanted so much to meet them. But he had handed out every last one.
The great blue heron speaks to me of awareness and opportunity - of being on the lookout for opportunity first of all by believing that extraordinary things are possible! When opportunity arises, it is essential to be both prepared and present. Act swiftly and assertively when opportunity presents itself, as a heron does when it pursues prey. That is the lesson I take from my recent experiences. There seems to be a clear theme lately that I keep encountering.
On Labor Day, as soon as I walked out of the house to go on the river, the heron that I love so much was flying high in a large circle in front of our house as if to get my attention. As I got in my kayak, I watched its flight and followed even though I rarely paddle in that direction. But sure enough, that's where the magic was that morning. A red-tailed hawk was part of it, too. And I eventually met up with the heron and would have gotten a great picture of both birds...if only my camera batteries were charged. In the midst of photographing the red-tailed hawk, the battery died.
Charging our batteries, both literally and figuratively, is part of being prepared.
I love trusting intuition and seeing where the signs lead.
In By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept, Paulo Coelho writes about magic moments that make all the difference:
"This moment exists, a moment in which all the strength of the stars flows through us and allows us to perform miracles."
I agree! Such moments do exist, and there is a depth to this beyond simple wishful thinking.
Preparation + Presence (+ Magic Moment) = Engaging the Magic!
On the other hand, when we are resistant to the manifestation of the present moment, we shut out opportunity and truncate our power. In my experience, it seems the magic is more readily engaged when I am open and receptive rather than closed and resistant.
What magic moments do I miss when I hit the snooze button, or when I am rushing or sulking? When I am abiding in a contracted state of weakness and limitation much like the fog on the river through which I cannot see what is virtually right next to me - and when I mistake that limited perception for "reality?"
The real reality is that shifting into presence can change everything!
© Susan Meyer and River Bliss, 2012-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including all text and photos, without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Susan Meyer and River Bliss (www.riverblissed.blogspot.com) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.