October’s skies turned rather gray and dismal this week in my area, making for some challenging runs and bike rides in the wind and rain. Despite the conditions, I pulled my mind, body, and soul along through my normal routines, partly because I’m not ready to give in to the sharp weather change, and partly because I have been known to cross the fine line between determination and stupidity on more than one occasion.
Letting Go To Hold On
For years now, I have practiced adjusting my exercise time to meet the resources given to me. Time, daylight, and energy are the commodities that dictate what I can and can’t do. The years have taught me well, for I learned to not give in so easily, to open my mind a bit in order to achieve my goals, and to not get too upset if I have to switch things up a bit. Not every day can be the same, and this is a good thing because variety leads to opportunities to grow mentally, physically, and spiritually.
Somewhere along the way, I let go of rules I had made for my exercise routines. I think this occurred more out of a natural progression into maturity with a push from God and in no way was my own doing. Instead of focusing on running alone, I took a leap of faith and started trying different exercises like biking, walking, and strength training. Varying my routines allowed me more freedom and options to deal with changing seasons and weather conditions. While running remains my favorite exercise, I have developed a love for biking and have noticed the benefits of lifting weights.
In letting go, I have been able to hold on to my values and keep my priorities straight. Though there are still times when I dig my heels in and try to hold on to what feels most comfortable to me, I recognize that sometimes I need to let go of the past and simply enjoy the present.
Living in the Moment
This week, I read several articles and reflections about living in the moment. These readings made me stop and think a bit about how I live my life. I used to be a very organized planner, but about eight years ago, many of my plans got shot to pieces with life-changing events. I quickly learned that trying to plan was putting more stress and less pleasure into life.
So, I let go of what had been, stopped thinking about what might be, and simply tried to focus on what is. It was not an easy change to make. I struggled and fussed like a child at times, frustrated over my inabilities and level of understanding with certain life issues. I got mad at myself and often kept my anger hidden, which made matters worse. Finally, I saw the light with the help of family members and friends, whom I believe God planted in my life to help me along the journey.
This week, I was talking to one of my friends about living in the moment. I think she put it all in perspective when she said, “Lis, you almost have to live in the moment these days or else you’ll drive yourself crazy.”
Presents of the Present
In my running and biking this week, I tried to find light within the gray skies. In my search, I saw an abundance of color in the tree leaves. Flaming red oaks and maples and golden orange sassafras and poplars stood out most. I also realized the white pines and spruces had shed all their yellow and brown needles, making them appear majestic in new green growth.
Walking with my dog Sadie around the yard, we discovered a late crop of red raspberries on our bushes. The berries were perfect in shape and a bright spot among the yellow-green leaves. They also tasted great with my morning yogurt and banana, an added bonus to start the day off on a brighter note.
While cleaning up leaves and mowing grass, I spotted deer in the fields. Their coats are now brownish-gray, which makes their white tails stand out more when they leap and run. Through the years, I have learned how intelligent and graceful deer can be, leading me to respect them for their natural beauty and wisdom.
Stopping to see nature this week has allowed me to live in the moment, enjoying the presents or gifts of the day. In observing the presents of the present, I have found a bit of relief from the stresses of life. My faith tells me to hold on to these gifts, yet share them with others in an effort to spread hope and light within the darkness of autumn and life.
May we all see the presents of the present in life. May we be thankful for the gifts we have, and may we accept the challenge of letting go in order to both hold on and spread hope.
Crescent moon way up high
As the morning dew disappears from sight
After being touched by the sun’s rays
On the horizon above the landscape
Clad in green, yellow, gold, rust, and red
Caught within the folds of October’s presents
Wrapped within nature’s beauty and art
Amid the morning soothing start
To the day to come
In the moments made by God’s love.
Doe in the field coming out to graze
As the sunlight reveals the rub its mate made
Upon the little birch tree
Now a bit shriveled, yet still full of life and energy
Below the clouds moving in the wind
Above the ground with October’s presents
Hidden in the landscape for the soul to find,
Allowing the child within to see delight
In all the wonder, magic, and awe
Brought to light under the guidance of God.
Late crop of red raspberries on the vine
Peek their heads above the leaf lines
To catch the warmth of the sun
Before the day is done
And the night comes to call
Upon the skies now full of cotton ball
Clouds quilted together in lines
Like linen rendered so fine
And tucked between the winds
Gathered up in October’s presents
Conveying blessings through the colors and shades
Dotted within the views of the landscape.
-Lisa A. Wisniewski