(this isn’t my photo – I dont know the source but it sure is funny!)
Recently, I realized how much I really do love Summer. The Summer season has the potential to be quite beautiful where I am. I often say it’s my least favorite season. It is. But I also say that I love all four seasons. All four are lovely and I am blessed to live in a place where we experience the diversity of all the seasons and the gifts they bring.
But often, when I think of Summer, I want to grimace. For the last couple of days it has been very beautiful summer weather. Hot but definitely not scorching. Actually, yesterday was really cool and very rainy and stormy. Today is perfect too. Not rainy. Hot but not overwhelming.
Then it hit me. This is perfect. Summer would be perfect if there were not as many heatwaves. It’s not hot weather I don’t like, it’s unbearably hot weather like 100 degrees heatwaves over and over to where even good commercial air conditioners don’t even seem to be working, that I don’t like much.
But I wouldn’t get rid of the heatwaves even if I could. Because a lot of people do like them. And it’s not all about me. And also Because I like diversity and it’s good to have all kinds of weather. Also, I love the way it feels to have cold showers and put on my pj shorts in the middle of a heatwave! Lol
So yeah, they are good for some things!
I like to have tea at work. I carry tea bags, powdered cream, and a box or cup of sugar everywhere with me. Lol
But today I forgot my tea and stuff! But I saw we have hot chocolate at work. We usually don’t get that until the Fall but we have a big box. So I had some of that since I forgot my tea. I started to feel giddy and thrilled because in my head it felt like October.
Every year when it gets cooler, we sell hot chocolate and today as I was getting ready to drink it, it felt like that Fall feeling, especially because it was kind of breezy/cool in the morning and last night. The weather was definitely not Fall-like weather but just cool summer air. But it felt like Autumn in my mind. I started dreaming of Fall and all the lovely gems it brings!
But then I stopped myself and decided to instead cherish right now and all the blessings Summer brings. It’s good to look forward to and plan for things but it’s also good to be mindful and appreciative of right now and all of the joys surrounding us. Fall will be here before we know it. This moment will never occur again. Let’s embrace it.
(me standing on the corner in the rain)
I’m often extremely happy to be right where I am, right here, right now. I’m naturally this way to a certain degree but with practice I’m much better at it now. Often, no matter what my situation is, even painful, I can still be thankful I’m right here, right now, and see the beauty around me. I almost never felt this way walking in 100 degree weather, extremely thirsty and feeling like I’m about to fall unconscious of heatstroke or dehydration. I would keep thinking “Winter! Where are you?!” or “this sucks!!!” but now I am very mindful of the gentle breeze that seems to lovingly brush against my cheeks and the vibrant green leaves hanging off the tree branches and the blue, blue sky above me, twinkling in my blue, blue eyes. And I’m so thankful for right here, right now. I just tune into the moment. It often comes naturally now but if not, I can often summon that mindful gratitude. If I had a choice I would never choose being out in 100 degree weather dying of thirst and heat but since I don’t have the choice, I cherish it. It’s fantastic to live, to love this way.
If we live too much in the future or the long ago, we miss out on the gift of the present.
(not my photo)
I love reading quotes, blogs, and books about mindfulness as reminders and ways to keep up the practice of appreciative living right now.
Here are some of my favorite quotes relating to the topic of mindfulness, Zen, or appreciative living.
“The only Zen you find on the tops of mountains is the Zen you bring up there.” ~ Robert Pirsig
“Zen teaches nothing; it merely enables us to wake up and become aware. It does not teach, it points.” ~ D.T. Suzuki
“Zen is simply a voice crying, ‘Wake up! Wake up!'” ~ Maha Sthavira Sangharakshita
“The quieter you become the more you can hear.” ~ Baba Ram Dass
“If you have a glass full of liquid you can discourse forever on its qualities, discuss whether it is cold, warm, whether it is really and truly composed of H2O, or mineral water, or saki. Zazen is drinking it.” ~ Taisen Deshimaru
“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
“The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.” – Henry Miller
“When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”
“If you clean the floor with love, you have given the world an invisible painting.” – Osho
“To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.” – William Blake
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” – Albert Einstein
“Paradise is not a place; it’s a state of consciousness.”
I hope you are having a wonderful day/night!