The eternal adventure of now

Wander outside and take a moment to appreciate the power of now. Feel the warmth of the sun on your skin and feel the coolness of the breeze which carries with it the faintest scent of a rainstorm to the west. Hear the leaves rustle above where the birds are chirping peacefully. Feel your body relax and let your smile blossom. Suddenly, from within the house there is a loud crash followed immediately by the ear piercing screech of your youngest child who you now know will come running to you crying and demanding that you make his older brother apologize for pushing him down for the 37th time this hour. The “now” fades quickly.

Being present and aware of my own life has been something I’ve been working pretty hard at all summer. What I’ve come to realize is that pursuing that sense of “nowness” isn’t about some contrived notion of inner peace, it’s about adventure. Appreciating the now is all about actively living your life, in real time. It’s about being present for the highs and the lows and the louds and the louder. As a dad, it’s about appreciating this special time that I have right now. It’s about the fact that every now I get is my adventure.

Last night we went for a bike ride to the park. There was a small concert there with a guy playing old cowboy tunes. We played tag on the playground and I tumbled the kids around in a tire swing. I was present for that.

We rode home as the sun was just beginning to touch the peaks of the mountains. The golden hour is my absolute favorite time of day and for the life of me I don’t know why I don’t make my family join me for a small golden hour adventure every day. I think I will start. When we made it home we sat on the porch and ate ice cream sandwiches. I was present for that too.

Then, just as we were beginning to coax the children into their night time routines, my youngest son displayed the greatest act of nowness that I’ve ever seen. He stepped outside the front door, dropped his drawers and peed all over the front porch. I was present for that too.

The thing is, he was just as close to the bathroom as he was the front porch. There’s no conceivable excuse for his actions other that the fact that he saw his opportunity and he took it. In that moment he was Mel Gibson from Braveheart, avenging his dead wife and leading the rebellion. I scolded him of course because because “that’s not appropriate”. In truth though, I envy his boldness and I’m just glad that I was there to witness it. I’m glad I was present.

I don’t know if I’ll ever reach a point of ultimate nowness. I’ll keep working at it, that’s for sure. In the meantime I’m just happy to be present for every adventure I get.