I looked at my calendar yesterday evening and it said that today was the Buddhist holiday, Nirvana Day (that is one great name for a holiday!)
“On Nirvana Day, Buddhists think about their lives and how they can work towards gaining the perfect peace of Nirvana. They remember friends or relations who have recently died and reflect on the fact that death is a part of life for everyone.The idea that nothing stays the same is central to Buddhism. Buddhists believe that loss and change are things to be accepted rather than causes of sadness….”. (from a BBC website describing the holiday)
A couple of years ago, a friend asked me to help him clean out his dad’s house. His father had just passed on and he had been a pack-rat (his son’s words!). But more than that, he had not even enjoyed the things that he’d saved. Many of the gifts he’d received over his long life, were still in the boxes that they came in; never used, never worn, packed away for some distant date when there would be an occassion big enough to warrant bringing them out. That day never came. Maybe no single day seemed important enough. They didn’t bring him joy, and his son said that the few times he asked if he could have something, his father became angry and defensive, so he didn’t even get the pleasure of seeing his son enjoy them. As we went through the boxes, many had started to deteriorate, mice had gotten into some and ruined them…
There’s a lot of talk about saving for retirement, going without now, so at some perfect time in the future, you can enjoy yourself, and I am not knocking saving and planning, but none of us knows the span of our lives here. When I find myself dismissing what I consider the mundane moments, I have to keep reminding myself that this is life. It is a series of little steps. Whether I am sitting here writing, opening my mailbox and finding a large check (or a bill), cleaning the kitty litter, saying yes to a “big” invitation, I am still in the moment, breathing in and breathing out. Right now. This is the big occasion.
“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.” Henry David Thoreau