Here and Now
One of the major reasons why we fail to find happiness or to create a unique lifestyle is because we have not yet mastered the art of being.
Jim Rohn, “Wherever You Are, Be There”
I was at the beach with family and friends today. The sun was really scorching hot when we got there. Good thing there were trees to shade us from the heat.
As soon as we arrived, I immediately scanned the area with my critical eyes. Hmmmm… not so white sand, and oh, the waters looked a bit greyish… I was not impressed. I was not a bit enthusiastic about the whole place. After my seemingly harsh judgment, I was about to prepare myself for a not-so-exciting day ahead. Then I changed my mind. I resolved to myself I will do my best to be fully present in this God-given place and time.
We picked a nice spot under a shade, then toured the place a little and had an early lunch. The wind was so cool and refreshing, I felt a bit drowsy so I decided to catch a few winks. Despite the loud music in the jeep beside where we are and the ongoing conversation on gasoline and mileage, I drifted on to dreamland and was able to get a really good rest.
Later that afternoon, I saw one of the kids playing in the sand; I eagerly took pictures of him. He gamely posed with head tilting to one side. It was such a pleasure looking at him. I joined him in his little amusement and we played with his slippers, some bottle caps and some nutshells.
After a while, my cutie sis and I hiked a bit to a slightly distant part of the place. There were still some vacant cottages. We gladly took shade in one of them and spent some time just looking at the clear sky and the pounding waves, listening to the sounds of the beach and enjoying the really cool breeze. What a grand experience. And to think I was so cynical that morning. Walking back to our picnic spot, we passed by some notable scenes – somebody sleeping contentedly in a hammock, one group singing along boldly to their favorite music, a charming couple on a cottage, energetic kids running around.
When it was almost time to go, I realized I did enjoy my day in the beach after all. Well, it was not the white-sand-blue-water kind of a beach but there was something more than just the place that made a difference – the good company of my family and friends, the allure of nature, the mixture of different faces and scenes. I chose to fully experience that very moment by just being where I am and in return I was rewarded with an inner sense of peace and renewal.
This brings back my thoughts to one of our bus trips from Cebu to Negros. It was Christmas season, so the bus was really jam-packed; it was not a comfortable trip for the family. My elder sis brought her two kids with us, a six-month old baby boy and a three-year old girl. All along the trip, I tried to cheer up the little girl. I would point to her some trees, or trucks, anything to amuse her. I was thinking if she realized she was already in the Philippines or if she was still in Thailand where their home is. I asked her, “Anzel, do you know where we are now?” I really expected her to answer “Philippines!” or “I don’t know Auntie, where are we now?” But her answer caught me by surprise. I learned a very good lesson from this little angel. She just smiled and effortlessly replied, “Heeerreeeee!” How true. She was simply enjoying the trip and had fun just being herself and being with us. She was completely present to the experience by just being there.